Hong Kong’s business sentiment improves amid abating COVID-19: survey

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HONG KONG, April 23 (Xinhua) — The overall business sentiment improved in Hong Kong alongside the receding COVID-19 pandemic locally, an official survey showed on Friday.

According to the survey of the Census and Statistics Department of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government, 16 percent of the surveyed companies expect a better business performance in the second quarter this year, up from 9 percent in the first quarter. Meanwhile, the share of respondents with a negative outlook went down from 26 percent in the first quarter to 16 percent.

The accommodation and food services sector saw particularly visible improvement in the business thanks to the relaxation of some social distancing measures since mid-February, an HKSAR government spokesperson said.

The hiring sentiment in most of the sectors in Hong Kong also showed signs of stabilization, he added.

The spokesperson said he believes that business sentiment can hopefully see a broader based improvement down the road if the local epidemic situation remains well controlled.

Hong Kong reported only one local infection on Friday, in addition to eight imported cases.

The statistical authority also reported Friday that the overall consumer prices rose 0.5 percent year-on-year in March, lower than the average 1.1 percent growth in the first two months. If excluding government relief, the inflation would be up by 0.2 percent last month, compared to an average negative 0.3 percent in January and February combined. Enditem

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