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Wednesday, April 6, 2016, 13:01

HK private sector hits seven-month low

By Oswald Chan

HK private sector hits seven-month low
A general view of Hong Kong's business district as captured on May 28, 2015. (Photo / Hong Kong Government)

HONG KONG - The Nikkei Hong Kong Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) declined to a seven-month low in March, signaling a further deterioration in  operating conditions for the private sector.

The Nikkei Hong Kong PMI fell to 45.5 in March, down from 46.4 in February, with the pace of deterioration the quickest since August 2015.

Among various sub-indices, private sector output contracted the fastest in six months as weak economic conditions and fewer new orders due to a strong Hong Kong dollar underpinned the latest reduction in output.

Employment in Hong Kong’s private sector declined at the steepest rate since August 2015. This was generally linked to the non-replacement of voluntary leavers amid lower production requirements.

Lower intakes of new work prompted firms to reduce their purchasing activity for the 21st month on the trot, with some firms cutting prices in order to attract new business. Further sharp falls in purchasing activity and stocks of inputs were registered.

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