Financial Secretary Donald Tsang Yam-kuen yesterday put on a brave face, saying people 'should not be too worried' about the economy. 'We have to realise that, with all the early indicators, we have had a very rough quarter at the end of 1997 and the first part of 1998 and we have to face up to these realities,' he said. But Mr Tsang was not specific on whether Hong Kong had been hit by recession. 'We should not be too worried. Nor should we use terms such as economic recession,' he said. He repeated his view that the banking sector and markets were stable. 'They react to world situations flexibly and elastically,' he said. 'We have to ride out these circumstances just as well as we have done in the past. We have to understand as well that the problems we face are not created by Hong Kong; they were created by the rest of the world and is something that has since spread to Hong Kong, and we are the least affected so far.' Mr Tsang said the period of adjustment would be painful, but added: 'I'm quite sure people are well equipped to deal with that.' Returning from South America on Sunday, he said it would be 'premature' to revise GDP forecasts. 'On the whole, we are still better off than our neighbouring economies,' he said.