Growth eases in Hong Kong private sector as orders from mainland jump, HSBC PMI shows

PUBLISHED : Monday, 06 January, 2014, 10:52am
UPDATED : Monday, 06 January, 2014, 10:52am

A gauge of business conditions in Hong Kong’s private-sector economy showed modest expansion in activity last month, although the rate of growth eased from November’s 10-month peak.

The HSBC purchasing managers index (PMI) for December fell to 51.2 from 52.1 in November. A reading above 50 indicates expansion. A figure below 50 denotes contraction.

New orders received by private-sector companies grew but were weaker than in November.

New business from mainland China expanded for the second month in December, and the rate of growth was the fastest since August 2011.

Output expanded for the fourth consecutive month. Although the rate of growth eased to a modest pace, it was the second fastest since January last year.

Employment contracted for the 10th consecutive month, and the rate of contraction was the fastest in five months.

Overall input prices faced by private-sector companies continued to increase, the latest rise in costs reflecting higher purchasing prices and salaries. The rate of inflation picked up slightly.

“The pace of growth in the Hong Kong economy may have slowed marginally in December, but output and new orders are still rising faster than their historical average rates,” Qu Hongbin, HSBC’s chief China economist, said in a statement.

“There was an overall contraction in employment, but the acceleration in new orders from China is encouraging and should limit any downside to overall output.”