ECONOMY | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong

28% of businesses expect worse business conditions in Q3

Real estate and professional services are some of the sectors projecting fewer sales output.

About 28% of organisations expect their business conditions to worsen in Q3, , according to a survey by the Census and Statistics Department (C&SD). This is an improvement ovef the 44% of respondents expecting worse conditions in Q2.

Although 17% of the respondents are anticipating more optimistic business conditions during the quarter, respondents in select sectors stated that Q3 is likely to be worse that the past quarter.

Further, the survey has yet to reflect the surge of coronavirus cases in the past couple of weeks that has pushed banks to delay their back-to-office plans.

“Yet, it should be noted that the latest survey results have not reflected the recent spike in local infection cases and the resultant tightening of social distancing measures, which have added uncertainties to the near-term economic outlook,” a government spokesperson warned.

In particular, more respondents in the information and communications, real estate, professional and business services, transportation, storage and courier services, financing and insurance, construction, and import/export trade and wholesale sectors expect their volume of business/construction output/sales to fall.

On the other hand, significantly more respondents in the accommodation and food services and manufacturing sectors expect their volume of business and production to rise.

As for employment sentiments, respondents in some of the surveyed sectors expect their employment to remain broadly unchanged in Q3. Most surveyed in the manufacturing sector expect their employment to jack up, whilst more respondents in the construction sector expect their employment to fall further.

In addition, most firms are projecting prices/service charges to remain flat in Q3 as well, except for the construction sector who stated that tender prices are likely to go down in the same period. 

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