Hong Kong is projected to come third from last among 20 Asia-Pacific economies in terms of real wage growth next year, with employees set to receive just 1.4 per cent after factoring in inflation. The city only fared better than Australia and Myanmar in the index, while globally it ranked 42nd out of 72 economies. Research firm ECA International , which has been conducting the survey for over 15 years, collected data from over 90 large and multinational companies operating in Hong Kong between August and September. On average, companies are indicating a nominal salary increase of 4 per cent next year, the same as this year. But after deducting inflation – forecast to be 2.6 per cent – workers will receive a real wage increase of 1.4 per cent. Asked if the results would lack representativeness since 320,000 small and medium enterprises in the city were not included, the human resources consultancy said it had cross-referenced similar surveys, such as one conducted by the Hong Kong Institute of Human Resource Management. “We also sent invitations to smaller firms, but there has not been a positive response,” ECA Asia regional director Lee Quane said. The institute predicted a nominal salary increase of 3.5 per cent next year, while the Hong Kong People Management Association forecast 3.5 to 3.8 per cent. Quane added that while the Asia-Pacific region would outdo the rest of the world with average real salary growth of 2.6 per cent next year, Hong Kong was among mature and developed economies which inevitably grew at a slower pace than places like Vietnam and India. Despite a looming economic downturn, workers in mainland China were in line to receive a 7 per cent pay rise next year – which would result in 4.7 per cent after factoring in inflation – the fourth highest in the world. The analyst also dismissed the possibility of Donald Trump’s victory in the US presidential election having an immediate impact on wages, saying it would only surface after six to 12 months. “Brexit in [Britain] also did not prompt immediate action by companies, which tend to adopt a wait-and-see attitude,” Quane said. “The Hong Kong economy is after all relatively hinged on the mainland economy,” he said.