Business expectations for the second quarter of 2023
For all surveyed sectors taken together, the proportion of respondents expecting their business situation to be better (25%) in Q2 2023 over the preceding quarter is higher than that expecting it to be worse (10%).
When compared with the results of the Q1 2023 survey round, the proportion of respondents expecting a better business situation in Q2 2023 is 25%, higher than the corresponding proportion of 19% in Q1 2023. On the other hand, the proportion of respondents expecting a worse business situation has decreased from 13% in Q1 2023 to 10% in Q2 2023.
Analysed by sector, respondents in most of the surveyed sectors expect their business situation to increase on balance in Q2 2023 as compared with Q1 2023. In particular, significantly more respondents in the accommodation and food services, manufacturing, retail and financing and insurance sectors expect their business situation to be better in Q2 2023 as compared with Q1 2023.
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 March 2, 2023 to April 6, 2023.
Volume of business/output
Respondents in all of the surveyed sectors expect their volume of business/output to increase on balance or remain broadly unchanged in Q2 2023 as compared with Q1 2023. In particular, significantly more respondents in the accommodation and food services, retail, manufacturing and financing and insurance sectors expect their volume of business/sales/production to increase in Q2 2023 over Q1 2023.
Respondents in all of the surveyed sectors expect their employment to increase on balance or remain broadly unchanged in Q2 2023 as compared with Q1 2023. In particular, significantly more respondents in the accommodation and food services sector expect their employment to increase in Q2 2023 over Q1 2023.
Selling price/service charge
Respondents in all of the surveyed sectors expect their selling prices/service charges to increase on balance or remain broadly unchanged in Q2 2023 as compared with Q1 2023. In particular, significantly more respondents in the accommodation and food services sector expect their prices of food provided/charges for services rendered to go up in Q2 2023 over Q1 2023.
A Government spokesman said that business sentiment among large enterprises improved notably across a majority of sectors as compared to three months ago thanks to the revival of local economic activities and a visible rebound in visitor arrivals. Large enterprises' appetite for hiring also increased.
Looking forward, the spokesman said that business sentiment should continue to benefit from the improved economic situation. The disbursement of a new batch of consumption vouchers will provide additional support. However, the continued tight financial conditions may bring uncertainties. The Government will monitor the situation closely.
The survey gathers views on short-term business performance from the senior management of about 560 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 Q2 2022 to Q2 2023.
Table 1 shows the net balances of views on expectations in respect of different variables for Q2 2023.
The survey results are published in greater detail in the "Report on Quarterly Business Tendency Survey, Q2 2023". Users can browse and 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, April 21, 2023
Issued at HKT 16:30
Issued at HKT 16:30