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Hong Kong Business Expectations Erode In Q1

The share of Hong Kong businesses expecting their business situation to be worse in the first quarter of the year compared to the final three months of last year was higher than that expecting it to be better, survey data from the Census and Statistics Department showed on Friday.

The net balance of business expectations weakened to -17 from -8 in the fourth quarter.

Expectations eroded in all of the surveyed sectors and businesses expect their situation to be worse on balance in the first quarter versus the previous three months.

Significant deterioration in expectations was seen in the accommodation and food services; transportation, storage and courier services; and construction sectors.

Respondents in all of the surveyed sectors expect their employment to decrease and selling prices to fall or remain unchanged in the first quarter.

The survey was conducted from December 2, 2020 to January 15, 2021.

Overall business sentiment turned more pessimistic as the fourth wave of local epidemic, which started in the latter part of November 2020 caused disruptions to a range of domestic economic activities, a government spokesman said.

Hiring sentiment weakened further in a number of sectors, indicating that the labor market will remain under immense pressure in the near term, the spokesman added.

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