HONG KONG manufacturers expect a mild increase in the volume of orders in the second half of the year compared with the same period last year, according to a Government survey. The rise would be attributable mainly to the printing, electronic and electrical products and electrical machinery industries, according to findings of the six-month Business Prospects Survey report released yesterday by the Census and Statistics Department. The apparel and textiles industries were expected to see a dip in volume of orders in view of a gloomy market. The survey was conducted based on a sample of about 300 firms. A total of 40 per cent of the manufacturers surveyed saw no change in the volume of orders, 39 per cent thought there would be an increase and about 20 per cent expected a decline in the second half of the year. The report said profit margins were expected to be lower in the second half of the year, particularly in the textile and printing industries, compared with the same period last year. Almost 80 per cent of those from the electronic and electrical products and electrical machinery industries surveyed said they expected between four to more than 10 per cent increases in the volume of orders. The industry did not expect capacity utilisation to deteriorate and 22 per cent of those surveyed expected profit margins to improve. A total of 17 per cent of manufacturers from the fabricated and metal products industry did not see any change, 49 per cent expected increases of from four per cent to more than 10 per cent in volume of orders, and 34 per cent expected a slide in volume. The majority of those surveyed in the metals group believed that capacity utilisation would improve, but that profit margins would remain unchanged. The printing industry expected a positive second half with none of those surveyed thinking there would be a decrease. A total of 60 per cent of those surveyed expected volume to increase by four to more than 10 per cent and the remainder expected no change. In contrast, 14 per cent of those surveyed from the clothing industry expected their orders to increase, while 59 per cent saw no change and 28 per cent saw a decrease. The majority of manufacturers from the group expected their profit margin to deteriorate compared with the same period last year. A mere six per cent of those surveyed from the textile industry expected a rise in orders, 51 per cent expected no change, and 42 per cent saw a drop. Almost 80 per cent of the bankers asked expected an increase in the value of exports for the second half of the year, compared with the same period last year. The majority of exporters expected an increase in value of domestic exports and expected changes in the value of re-exports. A total of 65 per cent of the construction firms surveyed expected increases of up to more than 10 per cent in construction output.