Retail, food and accommodation sectors expect output and prices to fall.

A third or 32% of Hong Kong senior managers are bracing for a worse business situation in Q4, “significantly higher” than the 7% expecting better business conditions for the quarter, according to a survey by the Census and Statistics Department (C&SD).

This is higher than the proportion recorded in the previous survey, where 17% of respondents said that they expect a worse business situation in Q3.

With the exception of the information and communications sector, all sectors foresee their business situation to be worse on balance in Q4. In particular, more respondents in the retail; construction; accommodation and food services; transportation, storage and courier services; and professional and business services sectors expect their businesses to stagnate or plummet in the fourth quarter, relative to those expecting it to be better.

Also read: Hong Kong economy may post 0% growth in 2019

Respondents in most of the surveyed sectors project a decreased output in Q4 compared to the previous quarter. “In particular, significantly more respondents in the retail and accommodation and food services sectors expect their volume of sales to decrease, as compared to those expecting it to increase. On the other hand, slightly more respondents in the information and communications sector expect their volume of business to increase,” C&SD noted.

Also read: August retail sales plunge in worst performance on record since 1998

Managers in the retail, construction, and accommodation and food services sectors indicated that their employment might decrease in Q4 compared to Q3. These sectors also expect their selling prices, tender prices, or service charges to fall.

In contrast, more respondents in the financing and insurance sector expect their employment to increase. (enge link on higher hiring in finance)