THE value of orders-on-hand at Hong Kong's textile manufacturers fell 16 per cent in December compared with the previous year, according to the Census and Statistics Department. Releasing its monthly survey, the department said manufacturers generally saw 4 per cent year-on-year growth in the value of orders-on-hand in the last month of 1995. The December figures were little changed from November 1995, it said, adding they closely followed the department's business prospects survey announcement. The survey said manufacturers in the industry expected to see a decrease in orders by volume for the first half of 1996 while overall they expected a slight increase in orders and a squeezing in margins. The department's monthly survey of orders-on-hand covers a sample of 300 manufacturing firms engaging 50 or more workers. A spokesman said caution should be exercised in interpreting the orders-on-hand figures in a single month. Instead, the trend as displayed over a wider span of time should be looked at. Manufacturers' orders-on-hand refers to orders and parts of orders received earlier by them for domestic production which were undelivered by the end of the reference month. As well as suffering their biggest December decrease, orders for the textile industry showed their biggest November decrease. The value of orders for other industries in December showed year-on-year growth of varying degrees. The electronic products industry was up 14 per cent while printing and publishing rose by 10 per cent. Electrical products grew 6 per cent and fabricated metal products 5 per cent. The value of orders for the wearing apparel industry and plastic products industry showed little change. Orders received by traders not engaged in production are included if they are meant to be produced domestically. Production to be carried out in China and in any other place outside Hong Kong is not included. In the survey, released last week, exporters said they expected a moderate increase in the values of domestic exports and re-exports this year. Bankers are expecting a significant increase in exports and construction companies are forecasting a moderate rise in the volume of construction output.