A touch of optimism as Hong Kong’s personal sector PMI in February is above 50

HONG KONG (China Day by day / ANN): Hong Kong’s personal sector confirmed indicators of enchancment in February as Covid-19 infections eased and companies rose within the first signal of optimistic outlook 12 months for the reason that begin of 2018, IHT Markit (March 3) stated on Wednesday.

Whereas exercise and new orders have slowed because of anti-pandemic restrictions and cautious clients, the discount has been a lot slower than the earlier two months, the information supplier wrote in its IHS Markit Hong Kong SAR Buying Supervisor’s Index (PMI) for February.

The PMI climbed previous the 50.0 unchanged mark for the primary time in three months to 50.2 in February from 47.8 in January, signaling a partial enchancment within the well being of the personal sector financial system .

“With the most recent wave of infections subsiding, an easing of restrictions underway, and the vaccine rollout underway, there at the moment are real looking hopes that the financial system can return to development within the close to future,” commented Andrew Harker, Financial Director of IHS Markit. Wednesday’s publication.

“The truth is, corporations posted an optimistic outlook for the primary time in additional than three years, with sentiment reaching its highest since September 2014.”

Whereas the development mirrored a lowering unfavourable influence from the Covid-19 pandemic, enterprise exercise continued to say no in February because of social distancing measures.

Manufacturing has declined for 35 consecutive months, though the most recent drop was the smoothest since November.

New orders additionally fell amid reluctance by clients to interact in gross sales amid pandemic uncertainty, though indicators of enchancment cushioned the decline to be the slightest in three months.

Worldwide demand continued to wrestle, with sharp reductions in new export orders and new enterprise from mainland China re-registered.

General enter prices have elevated, pushed up by greater buy costs. Buying price inflation accelerated for the third month in a row and was the quickest since July 2018, with rising commodity costs extensively reported. In distinction, personnel prices continued to say no barely.

The speed of decline in buying exercise slowed sharply and was probably the most average in three months. Buying shares elevated after two successive declines.

Some respondents indicated that they’d carried out inventories in accordance with forecasts of accelerating exercise.

Severe provide chain disruptions once more hampered efforts to safe inputs. Though the speed of supply time elongation eased from the document within the January survey, supply delays had been nonetheless important and among the many largest within the historical past of the sequence.

Introducing the 2021-22 finances on February 24, Monetary Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po predicts that Hong Kong will expertise financial development of three.5% to five.5% this 12 months, with a headline inflation price and a price of d core inflation of 1.6% and 1%. respectively.

However the progress of the financial restoration will rely on the tempo of the pandemic restoration, Chan famous.

The financial system will nonetheless face important challenges within the first half of the 12 months and is predicted to realize stronger momentum within the second half of the 12 months, alongside an anticipated rebound within the international financial system, he stated. – China Day by day / Asia Information Community

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