Salaries barely rise in first quarter

Finance | Victor Zhong 25 May 2021

Average salaries edged up by 0.4 percent in the quarter of 2021, while half of Hong Kong's residents cut their spending in 2020, surveys showed.

Around a third of 4,288 interviewed employees saw their salaries increase 0.4 percent on average - a historic low last seen in 2008 in other similar surveys, according to employment portal JobsDB. Among them, those working in fields relating to digital and social media marketing saw the highest salary growth at 3.8 percent.

The survey, which was conducted in March, also revealed that 34 percent of respondents received no bonus or double pay last year.

Meanwhile, Citi Hong Kong said local credit card balances increased by single digits in the first quarter as the pandemic bit into local and overseas spending. However the bank expects double digit growth in 2021.

Nearly 50 percent of Hongkongers cut monthly spending in 2020, with an overall average reduction of 13 percent, the survey conducted by the bank showed.

More than 70 percent of 1,202 respondents say they will be more pragmatic than they were before the pandemic and that they have cut down on unnecessary expenses.

Separately, livi bank revealed it has an 80,000-strong customer base and total deposits of HK$900 million, as the virtual bank marked its first anniversary. The bank hopes to launch a wealth management product at the end of 2021 or next year.

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