Hong Kong: PMI records worst reading since April 2020 in March
The S&P Global Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) came in at 42.0 in March, down from February’s 42.9. March’s result marked the worst reading since April 2020. As a result, the index fell further below the 50.0 no-change threshold, signaling a sharper deterioration in business conditions in the private sector compared to the previous month.
The downturn was driven by elevated Covid-19 cases during the month and ongoing tight restrictions on the hospitality sector, international travel and social mixing between households. Covid-19 flare-ups in mainland China also impacted external demand and supply chains. In March, both output and new orders fell at faster rates, while input price inflation was the highest since 2011, and business sentiment was downbeat. More positively, employment expanded somewhat. PMI readings for Q1 as a whole suggest a sharp contraction in GDP in the period.