Confidence in the outlook for Hong Kong next year has improved slightly, according to a government survey. But almost two out of five respondents, or 38 per cent, of those surveyed last month remained pessimistic, saying they expected things to get worse. In the previous survey, conducted in September, 43 per cent expected the outlook to deteriorate. According to the Home Affairs Bureau poll published yesterday, 11 per cent expected conditions to improve in the next 12 months, up from eight per cent in September. Some 45 per cent expected no change. Forty-eight per cent said they were confident that Hong Kong would continue to be prosperous and stable, compared with 47 per cent who said they had little or no confidence. The corresponding figures in the September survey were 44 per cent and 50 per cent. The poll also found the number of respondents who were satisfied with the Government's overall performance had slightly increased from 24 per cent in the last survey to 25 per cent. The dissatisfaction rating dropped from 56 per cent in September to 52 per cent. A bureau spokesman said: 'It appears that the package of measures announced by the Chief Executive in his 2001 Policy Address has improved public sentiment and confidence.' Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa announced a $15 billion package of 33,000 new jobs, modest tax relief and improvement in the business environment in his October 10 address. The survey found labour-related issues had become the main concern of respondents. A total of 1,460 people were interviewed by telephone from November 12 to 16.