Hong Kong's economy continues to grow, as companies recorded their 17th consecutive month of higher output and new orders on hand last month, according to the purchasing managers' index (PMI). The growth of new orders resulted in companies hiring more people while some firms had to increase wages to retain staff, the survey showed. The PMI stood at 52.9 last month, up from 52.2 in September, which was the lowest in 14 months. A figure above 50 represents growth. The PMI monthly report is issued by international researcher NTC Research and the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply Hong Kong based on information on output, orders on hand, employment, suppliers' delivery and stocks from 300 companies. 'The performance of the Hong Kong economy remained positive in October,' the PMI report said. Business output was recorded at 54.5 last month, up from 53.6 in September. 'Companies linked increased activities to improved volumes of new orders, which rose for the 17th month in a row,' the report said. In August, the government raised its full-year economic growth forecast by 1.5 per cent to 7.5 per cent, after recording a strong 12.1 per cent year-on-year growth in the second quarter. The growth has been driven by private consumption by mainland tourists and local shoppers returning to shopping centres and dining out. The PMI report did not give figures but said third-quarter economic growth remained solid, although the rate of expansion was likely to ease. The survey showed companies hired more staff last month, although the index of 51.8 was slower than that of September. 'Average wages and salaries were boosted as a result of the improved buoyancy of the labour market, as firms offered higher remunerations to retain staff,' the report said. The survey showed that although the sharp rise in oil prices had pushed up the cost of raw materials, some companies had chosen to absorb the increase rather than pass them on to the customer.