Hong Kong: Manufacturing PMI contracts sharply in March
The IHS Markit SAR (private sector) Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) ticked up to 34.9 in March from 33.1 in February, but remained markedly below the 50-threhold that indicates an improvement in the private sector economy over the previous month. February’s print marks 24 consecutive months of deteriorating operating conditions in Hong Kong’s private sector.
February’s downturn came on the back of declines in new orders, production and exports. Moreover, business sentiment remained depressed, and employment levels dipped.
Commenting on March’s print, Bernard Aw, principal economist at IHS Markit, noted:
“The average PMI for the first quarter suggests that the Hong Kong SAR economy had fallen deeper into recession. There are also concerns that the downturn will worsen in the second quarter as more drastic antivirus measures may be taken worldwide.”