The Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce (HKGCC) announced the annual Business Prospects Survey where the outlook for Hong Kong's economy in 2019 is generally negative.
The survey reported 76 percent of respondents expected economic growth to be below 3 percent in 2019. Nearly half of the respondents said the economy may expand by 2 to 2.99 percent, while the rest anticipated growth of less than 2 percent.
Wilson Chong, the chamber's senior economist, said that unfavorable global trade environment and higher interest rates would likely drag Hong Kong's economic growth down next year.
"Trade activities have been resilient so far this year because of front-loading of shipments," said Chong. "However, this distortion is expected to add pressure to next year's trade figures."
Meanwhile, 35 percent of the respondents from transport, logistics, manufacturing and trading sectors expected that revenue in the next 12 months will fall due to the impact of the Sino-US trade war.
Aron Harilela, HKGCC chairman said that this downbeat sentiment from members was an alarming sign for Hong Kong as they employ about one-third of the overall workforce in the city.
Companies have become cautious about expanding their business. 51 percent of respondents said that they planned to hire more staff in the city, compared to 61 percent last year and only 33 percent planned to make additional capital investment, down from 48 percent last year.