People cross the street in the Central district of Hong Kong on Oct 9, 2008. (AFP PHOTO/MIKE CLARKE)
Business sentiment among small and medium-sized enterprises in Hong Kong improved for a third consecutive month in August, and that trend is forecast to continue in September, according to the results of a monthly survey released by the government.
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 49 in August from 46.6 in July in the contractionary zone. Meanwhile, the outlook for the index on business receipts in September was 49.5.
A spokesman said that the general improvement is due to the global economic recovery and after the local epidemic situation stabilized
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.
Of all the sections, the current diffusion indices for the retail trade and wholesale trade showed the biggest increases. The retail trade’s current diffusion index on business receipts rose from 44.6 in July to 52.4 in August, and the wholesale trade’s index stood at 50.0 in August, up 6.6 points from the previous month.
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In addition, the current diffusion index on new orders increased 1.6 points to 49.5 in August, whereas the outlook index on new orders for September was 50.3, signaling a gradual uptick in demand.
A spokesman said that the general improvement is due to the global economic recovery and after the local epidemic situation stabilized. The sub-index for retail trade rose notably and entered the expansionary zone, having been boosted by the Consumption Voucher Scheme.
The second batch of electronic consumption vouchers will further support consumption-related sectors in the rest of the year, the spokesman added, before noting that the situation remains uncertain as more infectious COVID-19 variants spread across the world.
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