Hong Kong’s PMI falls to lowest level since 2008, Latest Business News - The New Paper

Hong Kong’s PMI falls to lowest level since 2008

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HONG KONG: Hong Kong's economic woes showed no sign of easing after a key measure of business confidence fell to its lowest level in over a decade.

The Purchasing Managers Index (PMI)- which measures the health of the private sector - released yesterday dropped to 39.3 last month, its worst reading since the 2008 global financial crisis.

The city has been plunged into a recession by the fallout from the China-US trade war and five months of seething pro-democracy protests.

IHS Markit, which surveys around 400 private companies to build the PMI data set, said business activity is now falling at its fastest rate on record.

The latest reading is well below the 50 level separating growth from contraction and is also sharply down from the 41.5 seen in September.

"The ongoing political unrest and impact of trade tensions saw business activity fall at the sharpest pace since the survey started over 21 years ago," wrote principal economist at IHS Markit Bernard Aw.

"Anecdotal evidence revealed that the retail and tourism sectors remained particularly affected."

Mr Aw added that the city was experiencing a record decline in demand from China.

Figures released last week showed gross domestic product shrank 3.2 per cent in the third quarter compared with the previous three months, when it saw a 0.4 per cent drop.

That means the city is experiencing a technical recession, with two back-to-back periods of contraction. - AFP