TOKYO -- Hong Kong's private sector continued to show weakening business conditions in January, with output, new orders, and employment declining all together.
The Nikkei Hong Kong Purchasing Manager's Index, or PMI, rose from 48.0 in December to 48.2 in January, indicating a deterioration in the business conditions of the private sector for the tenth consecutive month by staying below the 50-point line separating expansion from contraction.
The main factor was the continued U.S.-China trade tensions. Led by market declines in export sales to mainland China, demand conditions deteriorated. Firms scaled back on purchasing activity as well as hiring while total inflows of new business shrank again, extending the trend of lower sales to ten months.
"Given flagging Chinese demand, the outlook for Hong Kong's private sector continues to darken," said Bernard Aw, Principal Economist at IHS Markit, which compiles the survey. He added that "With recent PMI surveys painting an increasingly challenging economic environment for Hong Kong, growth is expected to slow in 2019."
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