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Quarterly business receipts indices for service industries for third quarter of 2020
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     Business receipts in value terms of many major service industries showed decreases of different magnitudes in the third quarter of 2020 when compared with the third quarter of 2019, according to the provisional figures of business receipts indices released today (December 10) by the Census and Statistics Department (C&SD).
 
     Comparing the third quarter of 2020 with the third quarter of 2019, double-digit decreases were recorded in business receipts of the accommodation services (-50.8%), food services (-35.3%), administrative and support services (-27.5%), transportation (-23.7%), retail (-16.7%) and banking (-13.8%) industries.
 
     On the other hand, double-digit increases were recorded in business receipts of the courier (+42.5%), warehousing and storage (+19.6%), financing (except banking) (+15.4%) and real estate (+10.3%) industries during the same period.
 
     Analysed by service domain, business receipts of the tourism, convention and exhibition services domain decreased by 90.6% year-on-year during the same period, while those of the computer and information technology services domain also slightly decreased by 0.1% year-on-year.
 
     On a seasonally adjusted quarter-to-quarter comparison, business receipts in value terms of most major service industries recorded increases of different magnitudes in the third quarter of 2020 when compared with the second quarter of 2020. In particular, double-digit increases were recorded in business receipts of the accommodation services (+35.9%) and warehousing and storage (+16.0%) industries. On the other hand, a double-digit decrease was recorded in business receipts of food services industry (-22.6%) during the same period.
 
     Comparing the third quarter of 2020 with the second quarter of 2020 and on a seasonally adjusted basis, business receipts of the tourism, convention and exhibition services domain increased by 28.3%, while those of the computer and information technology services domain also increased by 2.0%.
 
Commentary
 
     A Government spokesman said that the service industries in general showed some improvement in the third quarter of 2020 from the austere situation in the second quarter, thanks to an improved external trading environment amid the accelerated growth of the Mainland economy, the stabilisation of the third wave of local epidemic in the latter part of the quarter and stronger financial market activity. Specifically, business receipts of courier, warehousing and storage, financing (except banking), and insurance recorded accelerated year-on-year growth, while those of real estate turned from decline to visible increase. Business receipts of many other service industries, such as import/export trade, wholesale, and information and communications saw narrowed declines. However, business receipts of industries related to consumption and tourism continued to plunge, though the fall in some of them moderated. 
 
     The spokesman further pointed out that the business environment of many service industries will remain challenging in the near term, given the still uncertain external environment and the fourth wave of local epidemic of late. The Government will continue to monitor the developments closely.
 
Further information
 
     Table 1 presents the business receipts indices and their corresponding year-on-year rates of change in respect of selected service industries and service domains for the recent five quarters, while Table 2 shows the corresponding quarter-to-quarter rates of change in the business receipts indices for the recent five quarters based on the seasonally adjusted series.
 
     The revised figures of business receipts indices for the third quarter of 2020 will be released at the website of the C&SD (www.censtatd.gov.hk/hkstat/sub/sp70.jsp?subjectID=7&tableID=093&ID=0&productType=8) and relevant publications of the C&SD starting from January 19, 2021.
 
     Data for compiling the business receipts indices are mainly based on the Quarterly Survey of Service Industries conducted by the C&SD, supplemented by relevant data provided by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority and the Hong Kong Tourism Board.
 
     A service domain differs from a service industry in that it comprises those economic activities which straddle different industries but are somehow related to a common theme. It may include all activities carried out by all establishments in a service industry that is closely related to the domain. For a service industry that is less closely related, however, only a portion of the establishments in the industry or even only part of the economic activities of the establishments is related to the domain. Taking the tourism, convention and exhibition services domain as an example, it includes all services of hotels and travel agents, and some (those involving visitors as customers) but not all of the services of restaurants, retailers and transport operators.
 
     The classification of service industries follows the Hong Kong Standard Industrial Classification Version 2.0, which is used in various economic surveys for classifying economic units into different industry classes.
 
     More detailed statistics are given in the report "Quarterly Business Receipts Indices for Service Industries, Third Quarter 2020". Users can download this publication free of charge at the website of the C&SD (www.censtatd.gov.hk/hkstat/sub/sp70.jsp?productCode=B1080006).
 
     Members of the public who have enquiries about the business receipts indices may contact the Business Services Statistics Section of the C&SD (Tel: 3903 7267 or email : [email protected]).
 
Ends/Thursday, December 10, 2020
Issued at HKT 16:30
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