HONG KONG, June 3 (Xinhua) - Hong Kong's private sector registered stronger business conditions for the fourth successive month in May as its purchasing managers' index (PMI) reached the best level since February 2014.
The latest PMI of the financial hub posted 52.5 in May following a reading of 50.3 in April, a survey by consulting firm IHS Markit said Thursday.
The expansion of the private sector picked up pace last month as more easing of COVID-19 restrictions fueled better economic conditions and business confidence, the firm said.
Output grew more steadily as new orders rose, with export orders back to growth after 25 months of decline.
While also citing unfavorable factors including a low staffing level and rising purchasing costs, IHS Markit pointed out that businesses generally grew more optimistic, predicting further economic recovery if the epidemic remains under control and inoculation goes well.
Pan Jingyi, economics associate director at IHS Markit, forecast Hong Kong's economy will grow 6.8 percent in 2021, following a strong rebound in the first quarter.
A PMI greater than 50 indicates expanding business activity, while a figure lower than 50 indicates the contraction.
The survey was based on responses of purchasing managers in a panel of around 400 private sector companies covering manufacturing, construction, wholesale, retail and services.