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Results of monthly survey on business situation of small and medium-sized enterprises for September 2021
     The Census and Statistics Department (C&SD) released today (October 12) the results of the Monthly Survey on Business Situation of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) for September 2021.
     The current diffusion index (DI) on business receipts amongst SMEs decreased from 49.0 in August 2021 in the contractionary zone to 47.8 in September 2021, whereas the one-month's ahead (i.e. October 2021) outlook DI on business receipts was 50.6. Analysed by sector, the current DIs on business receipts for some surveyed sectors decreased in September 2021 as compared with previous month, including retail trade (from 52.4 to 46.7) and wholesale trade (from 50.0 to 47.4). On the other hand, increases were observed in some sectors including logistics (from 41.2 to 46.9) and restaurants (from 50.0 to 54.2).
     The current DI on new orders for the import and export trades decreased slightly from 49.5 in August 2021 to 49.4 in September 2021, whereas the outlook DI on new orders in one month's time (i.e. October 2021) was 49.4.
     A government spokesman said that business sentiment among SMEs softened slightly in September after improving for three consecutive months. Nonetheless, the expected business situation in one month's time turned better, particularly in the retail trade and restaurants sectors.
     The spokesman added that the recent improvement in labour market conditions, coupled with the Consumption Voucher Scheme, should continue to support consumption-related sectors in the near term. However, supply bottlenecks in many places may restrain the pace of global economic recovery, and the pandemic development remains a key source of uncertainty. The community should remain vigilant and strive towards more widespread vaccination, so as to keep the local epidemic under control. The Government will monitor the situation closely.
Further information
     The Monthly Survey on Business Situation of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises aims to provide a quick reference, with minimum time lag, for assessing the short-term business situation faced by SMEs. SMEs covered in this survey refer to establishments with fewer than 50 persons engaged. Respondents were asked to exclude seasonal fluctuations in reporting their views. Based on the views collected from the survey, a set of diffusion indices (including current and outlook diffusion indices) is compiled. A reading above 50 indicates that the business condition is generally favourable, whereas that below 50 indicates otherwise. As for statistics on the business prospects of prominent establishments in Hong Kong, users may refer to the publication entitled "Report on Quarterly Business Tendency Survey" released by the C&SD.

     It should be noted that the results of the survey should be interpreted with care. The survey solicits feedback from a panel sample of about 600 SMEs each month and the survey findings are thus subject to sample size constraint. Views collected from the survey refer only to those of respondents on their own establishments rather than those on the respective sectors they are engaged in. Besides, in this type of opinion survey on expected business situation, the views collected in the survey are affected by the events in the community occurring around the time of enumeration, and it is difficult to establish precisely the extent to which respondents' perception of the business situation accords with the underlying trends.  For this survey, main bulk of the data were collected in the last week of the reference month.
     More detailed statistics are given in the "Report on Monthly Survey on the Business Situation of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises". Users can download the publication at the website of the C&SD (www.censtatd.gov.hk/en/EIndexbySubject.html?pcode=B1080015&scode=300).
     Users who have enquiries about the survey results may contact Industrial Production Statistics Section of the C&SD (Tel: 3903 7246; email: sme-survey@censtatd.gov.hk).
Ends/Tuesday, October 12, 2021
Issued at HKT 16:30
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