Economy's recovering, SME index shows

Finance | Victor Zhong 12 Nov 2020

The Hong Kong economy has bottomed out, an SME confidence index shows.

The Standard Chartered Hong Kong SME Leading Business Index rose 7.7 points to 37.5 for the fourth quarter, the Hong Kong Productivity Council announced.

The overall index recorded an uptrend for two consecutive quarters, but was still at a level below 50 points, indicating pessimistic business sentiment among SMEs, said Kelvin Lau, the senior economist for Greater China and global research at Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong).

"The worst is over," Lau said, adding that the economy should recover in the first quarter in 2021.

All five component sub-indices continued to rise during the past two quarters, among which "Global Economy" jumped the most to 23.2 in quarter 4 from 7.9 in the previous quarter.

Meanwhile, three key industry indices also saw an uptrend for two consecutive quarters, involving industries in manufacturing; import/export trade and wholesale; and retail.

The council interviewed the management of 816 small and medium enterprises via phone in September.

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