HK’s business activity contracts further in July amid resurgence of COVID-19 infections: survey

06-Aug-2020 Intellasia | Xinhua | 6:02 AM Print This Post

A private survey showed Wednesday that the business activity contracted further in China’s Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) as the worsening COVID-19 epidemic weighed on business confidence.

The Purchasing managers’ Index (PMI) of Hong Kong compiled by consulting firm IHS Markit dropped to 44.5 last month from 49.6 in June.

A PMI greater than 50 indicates expanding business activity, while a figure lower than 50 indicates the contraction.

Having moved close to stabilisation in June, Hong Kong’s business conditions worsened sharply at the start of the third quarter amid a tightening of containment measures due to a resurgence of new COVID-19 infections, IHS Markit said in a report.

The report showed that new orders declined at a steeper rate during July and firms, in turn, scaled back their purchasing activity substantially, resulting in a sharp fall in inventories. Business confidence deteriorated further, with rising concerns over the adverse impact of a new wave of COVID-19 cases on the economy.

Hong Kong’s economy slumped 9 percent year-on-year in the second quarter of this year, only improving slightly from a record-high 9.1-percent drop in the first quarter.

Given a sluggish economy, the HKSAR government has rolled out unprecedented relief measures worth nearly 290 billion Hong Kong dollars (37.4 billion US dollars) to help safeguard jobs, support enterprises and relieve people’s financial burdens.

Hong Kong’s centre for Health Protection reported 80 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, taking the total tally to 3,669.

The government has intensified social distancing measures, expanded testing capacity, added quarantine facilities, and sought assistance from the central government to contain the epidemic.


Category: Hong Kong

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