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Published: 18:33, February 09, 2023 | Updated: 21:51, February 09, 2023
HK SME sentiment rises for second consecutive month
By Wang Zhan
Published:18:33, February 09, 2023 Updated:21:51, February 09, 2023 By Wang Zhan

Aerial photo taken on January 24, 2023 shows the Kwai Tsing Container Terminal in Hong Kong. (PHOTO / AFP)

HONG KONG - Business sentiment among small and medium-sized enterprises in Hong Kong improved for the second consecutive month  in January, and that trend is forecast to continue in February, according to the results of a monthly survey released by the SAR government on Thursday.

The current diffusion index on business receipts, a monthly index released by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government to measure the business performance of SMEs in Hong Kong, rose to 48.2 in January from 46.1 in December in the contractionary zone. Meanwhile, the outlook for the index on business receipts in February was 51.2.

The survey was based on the views collected from around 600 SMEs in selected sectors in Hong Kong, covering wholesale trade, retail trade, import and export trades, restaurants, logistics, real estate, and business services

The diffusion index earlier increased from 44.0 in November to 46.1 in December after registering a drop of 1.5 points between October and November.

A reading above 50 indicates that the business condition is generally favorable, whereas that below 50 suggests otherwise.

The survey was based on the views collected from around 600 SMEs in selected sectors in Hong Kong, covering wholesale trade, retail trade, import and export trades, restaurants, logistics, real estate, and business services.

ALSO READ: Record jump of 11.4 points for HK SME business confidence

Analyzed by sector, the current diffusion indices for many surveyed sectors rose by varying degrees in January compared with previous month, particularly for business services and retail trade.

The business services’ current diffusion index on business receipts rose from 46.3 in December to 50.0 in January, and the retail trade’s index stood at 47.7 in January, up 3.2 points from the previous month.

The current diffusion index on new orders for the import and export trades increased by 2.6 points from 46.2 in December, while the outlook index on new orders in February was 50.9.

An HKSAR government spokesman said the general improvement was also due to the gradual resumption of quarantine-free travel between the SAR and the Chinese mainland while the overall employment situation improved slightly. Views on the business situation in one month's time also showed improvement.

READ MORE: HK business prospects improve but risks still ahead

Looking forward, the spokesman pointed out that the return of economic activities to normalcy from the pandemic and an expected increase in inbound visitors should provide further support to business sentiment, though tightened financial conditions and slower global economic growth will continue to bring uncertainties. 


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