This Sept 27, 2018 photo view shows residential and commercial buildings on Hong Kong island. (ANTHONY WALLACE / AFP)
In the first three months of this year, Hong Kong’s economy grew at its slowest quarterly pace since the global financial crisis a decade ago, according to a government report
The seasonally adjusted headline IHS Markit Hong Kong purchasing managers’ index (PMI) continued to hover below 50, extending the current trend of contractions for the 15th consecutive month, albeit it rebounded from 46.9 in May to 47.9 last month.
The headline PMI is a composite single-figure indicator of economic performance derived from indicators for new orders, output, employment, suppliers’ delivery times and stocks of purchases. A reading above 50 indicates overall improvement of the economy.
A survey conducted by IHS Markit showed that demand continued to weaken last month with total new orders being held back. It said falling Chinese mainland demand had partially weighed on overall new sales after orders from the mainland shrank at the fastest rate in three-and-a-half years.
“Steepening decreases in orders from the mainland and overseas markets were a concern, hinting at increasing external headwinds facing Hong Kong’s economy amid a worsening global trade environment,” said Bernard Aw, principal economist at IHS Markit.
Jimmy Kwok Chun-wah -- chairman of the Federation of Hong Kong Industries -- said any improvement in the PMI would depend on the HKSAR government’s policy strategies.
He noted that many local exhibition events had been canceled due to the anti-extradition bill protests, which are likely to undermine foreign investors’ confidence in Hong Kong.
According to Aw, the survey is broadly indicative of the economy expanding at an annual rate close to 1 percent.
In the first three months of this year, Hong Kong’s economy grew at its slowest quarterly pace since the global financial crisis a decade ago, according to a government report. First-quarter gross domestic product expanded to a revised 0.6 percent compared with a year ago.
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