Hong Kong: PMI inches up in September, but remains depressed
The IHS Markit Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), ticked up from 40.8 in August to 41.5 in September; however, the index remained mired in a sharp downturn as the average PMI for the third quarter was lowest since the height of the global financial crisis approximately a decade ago.
September’s uptick was mainly the result of softer, albeit still significant, declines in new orders and output—the second-steepest deteriorations since early 2009. Meanwhile, firms’ confidence fell to a new survey low in September as political unrest and elevated trade tensions weighed on business prospects. On the price front, both input and output prices fell in September.
Commenting on September’s print, Bernard Aw, an economist at IHS Markit, noted:
“In over 20 years of data history there have only been two other occasions for which the PMI series has recorded a worse quarterly performance: the 1998 Asia Crisis and the 2008-09 Global Financial Crisis. Historical comparisons with GDP indicate that the PMI is broadly indicative of the economy contracting at an annual rate of over 3% in the third quarter.”