Hong Kong: PMI broadly stable in April pointing to a marginally weaker expansion in activity
The IHS Markit Hong Kong SAR Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) ticked down to 50.3 in April, from 50.5 in March. As a result, the PMI was marginally above the critical 50-threshold, suggesting that operating conditions in the Hong Kongese private sector improved slightly in April relative to the previous month.
The fractionally softer expansion in activity was likely due to firms expanding their headcounts in April at a slower pace than in March. That said, the easing of Covid-19 restrictions led to business activity increasing for the first time in three years. Output and new orders benefitted from stronger business optimism, but new export orders from mainland China continued to contract due to the ongoing pandemic.
Commenting on the latest PMI reading, Andrew Harker, economics director at IHS Markit, noted:
“The positive picture reflected an improvement in the situation regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, and while experience tells us that this could reverse again quickly, firms themselves are at their most confident in more than seven years amid hopes that the pandemic will remain under control and that more people will receive vaccinations. IHS Markit forecasts GDP to grow 4.4% in 2021.”