The IMF may raise its forecast for Hong Kong's economic growth, citing the positive impact of expanded mainland tourism, closer cross-border ties and prospects of the global rebound continuing. Deputy research director David Robinson yesterday said the International Monetary Fund was considering raising its gross domestic product growth forecasts for Hong Kong, which it last forecast at 1.5 per cent for this year and 2.8 per cent for next year. 'An IMF mission is coming later in the year ... it will sit down and work it out then,' he said. The IMF's present growth forecasts were made in August, before the launch of the individual travel scheme in select mainland cities, and the announcements of the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (Cepa) and the qualified domestic institutional investor scheme, which will allow mainland investors to invest directly in Hong Kong stocks. 'We're very comfortable with the economic growth forecasts that have been made' by other researchers recently, Mr Robinson said. This month, the Manila-based Asian Development Bank raised its growth forecast for Hong Kong to 2.1 per cent this year, compared with a 2 per cent forecast in April, while projecting 4.8 per cent GDP growth for next year compared with an earlier of 4 per cent estimate. Deutsche Bank has also raised its GDP growth forecast to 2.6 per cent for this year from 2.4 per cent. It also raised its forecast for next year to 4.8 per cent from 4 per cent. Mr Robinson said confidence in Hong Kong's fiscal position depended on whether Financial Secretary Henry Tang Ying-yen was able to convince the market that he has a plan to balance the budget in a reasonable timeframe. 'Hong Kong needs to bring [its budget] back to balance over the medium term, but there's no panic,' Mr Robinson said.