ECONOMY | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong

Trade tensions fail to rattle Hong Kong SMEs in Q3

SME sentiment tracker remained at 49.7.

Heightening trade tensions between the US and China failed to dampen the sentiment of the city’s small businesses as the Standard Chartered Hong Kong SME Leading Business Index remained steady at 49.7 in Q3, according to a media release.

Also read: Half of exporters remain bullish despite trade woes

The figure matched the Q2 print and was the closest to the 50 mark in 13 quarters in spite of the imposition of a 25% tariff on US$50b of bilateral imports.

“Our responses also managed to capture the steepest part of local interest rate increases following the latest Fed hike. All this makes the q/q improvement in the ‘investment’ and ‘global economic outlook’ components (by 2pts and 4pts, respectively) more impressive,” Standard Chartered added.

The index also noted that industry sub-indices confirm good investment appetite although some sectors s including the real estate sub index fell steeply on the back of the government’s property cooling measures.

“We see a risk of the SMEI staying below 50 in the coming quarters, consistent with our forecast of modest easing in H2-2018 growth from strong H1 levels,” the bank added.

The Standard Chartered Hong Kong SME Leading Business Index is jointly released by Standard Chartered Bank and the Hong Kong Productivity Council.

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