HONG KONG, Feb 22 (AP) -- Hong Kong's economy grew by 7.3 percent in 2005, showing it has fully recovered from the 1997-1998 Asian financial crisis, the financial chief said Wednesday.
"Hong Kong has now fully emerged from the Asian financial crisis and has regained its strength and vitality," Financial Secretary Henry Tang said in his annual budget speech to lawmakers. "I am cautiously optimistic about this year's economic outlook."
Last year's nominal gross domestic product -- the sum of all goods and services produced -- surpassed its 1997 peak to reach a new record of HK$1.382 trillion, Tang said. The economy grew by 8.1 percent in 2004.
For 2006, Tang said he expects Hong Kong's GDP to increase by 4 percent to 5 percent on year, which is slightly higher than the trend growth rate over the past decade.