Business expectations for the fourth quarter of 2022
For all surveyed sectors taken together, the proportion of respondents expecting their business situation to be better (16%) in Q4 2022 over the preceding quarter is higher than that expecting it to be worse (12%).
When compared with the results of the Q3 2022 survey round, the proportion of respondents expecting a better business situation in Q4 2022 is 16%, slightly lower than the corresponding proportion of 18% in Q3 2022, while the proportion of respondents expecting a worse business situation in Q4 2022 is broadly the same as the corresponding proportion in Q3 2022 (12%).
Analysed by sector, significantly more respondents in the accommodation and food services sector expect their business situation to be better in Q4 2022 as compared with Q3 2022, relative to those expecting a worse business situation. In the manufacturing sector, however, more respondents expect their business situation to be worse, as compared to those expecting a better business situation.
The results of the survey should be interpreted with care. In this type of survey on expectations, 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 future accords with the underlying trends. The enumeration period for this survey round was from September 2, 2022 to October 12, 2022.
Volume of business/output
Respondents in most of the surveyed sectors expect their volume of business/output to increase on balance or remain broadly unchanged in Q4 2022 as compared with Q3 2022. In particular, significantly more respondents in the accommodation and food services sector expect their volume of business to increase in Q4 2022 over Q3 2022. On the other hand, more respondents in the manufacturing sector expect their volume of production to decrease, as compared to those expecting it to increase.
Respondents in all of the surveyed sectors expect their employment to increase on balance or remain broadly unchanged in Q4 2022 as compared with Q3 2022. In particular, more respondents in the accommodation and food services; manufacturing; construction; and transportation, storage and courier services sectors expect their employment to increase in Q4 2022 over Q3 2022.
Selling price/service charge
Respondents in most of the surveyed sectors expect their selling prices/service charges to remain broadly unchanged in Q4 2022 as compared with Q3 2022. In accommodation and food services sector, however, more respondents expect their prices of food provided/charges for services rendered to go up in Q4 2022 over Q3 2022.
A Government spokesman said that overall business sentiment among large enterprises remained generally stable as compared to three months ago, though mixed performance was seen across different sectors. Large enterprises' appetite for hiring remained largely positive.
The spokesman added that while the worsening global economic outlook and tightened financial conditions would continue to affect business sentiment in the near term, the generally stable local epidemic situation and the Consumption Voucher Scheme should provide support. It remains crucial for the community to work together with the Government to contain the epidemic.
The survey gathers views on short-term business performance from the senior management of about 550 prominent establishments in various sectors in Hong Kong with a view to providing a quick reference, with minimum time lag, for predicting the short-term future economic performance of the local economy.
The survey covers 10 major sectors in Hong Kong, namely manufacturing; construction; import/export trade and wholesale; retail; accommodation and food services (mainly covering services rendered by hotels and restaurants); transportation, storage and courier services; information and communications; financing and insurance; real estate; and professional and business services sectors.
Views collected in the survey refer only to those of respondents on their own establishments rather than those on the respective sectors they are engaged in, and are limited to the expected direction of quarter-to-quarter change (e.g. "up", "same" or "down") but not the magnitude of change. In collecting views on the quarter-to-quarter changes, if the variable in question is subject to seasonal variations, respondents are asked to provide the expected changes after excluding the normal seasonal variations.
Survey results are generally presented as "net balance", i.e. the difference between the percentage of respondents choosing "up" and that choosing "down". The percentage distribution of respondents among various response categories (e.g. "up", "same" and "down") reflects how varied their business expectations are. The "net balance", with its appropriate sign, indicates the direction of expected change in the variable concerned. A positive sign indicates a likely upward trend while a negative sign indicates a likely downward trend. However, the magnitude of the "net balance" reflects only the prevalence of optimism or pessimism, but not the magnitude of expected change, since information relating to such magnitude is not collected in the survey.
Furthermore, owing to sample size constraint, care should be taken in interpreting survey results involving a small percentage (e.g. less than 10%) of respondents in individual sectors.
Chart 1 shows the views on expected changes in business situation for the period Q4 2021 to Q4 2022.
Table 1 shows the net balances of views on expectations in respect of different variables for Q4 2022.
The survey results are published in greater detail in the "Report on Quarterly Business Tendency Survey, Q4 2022". Users can download the publication at the website of the C&SD (www.censtatd.gov.hk/en/EIndexbySubject.html?pcode=B1110008&scode=300).
Users who have enquiries about the survey results may contact the Business Expectation Statistics Section of the C&SD (Tel: 3903 7263; email: email@example.com).
Ends/Friday, October 21, 2022
Issued at HKT 16:30
Issued at HKT 16:30