Monthly survey shows contraction in business sentiment among SMEs in May 2023

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9th June 2023 – (Hong Kong) The Census and Statistics Department (C&SD) has released the results of the Monthly Survey on Business Situation of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) for May 2023. The current diffusion index (DI) on business receipts among SMEs decreased from 48.0 in April 2023 to 47.2 in May 2023, indicating contraction. However, the one-month’s ahead outlook DI on business receipts was 49.2.

When analysed by sector, the current DIs on business receipts for many surveyed sectors dropped by varying degrees in May 2023 as compared with the previous month, particularly for the business services (from 51.9 to 46.9) and retail trade (from 49.4 to 45.8). The current DI on new orders for the import and export trades remained at 48.0 in May 2023, whereas the outlook DI on new orders in one month’s time (i.e. June 2023) was 49.4.

In response to the survey results, a Government spokesman stated that overall business sentiment among SMEs slightly softened in May. Expectations on the business situation in one month’s time also retreated somewhat. However, the overall employment situation remained broadly stable.

Looking forward, the spokesman said that slower growth in advanced economies and tight financial conditions would continue to affect business sentiment. Nonetheless, the local economic recovery and various measures introduced by the Government to boost the recovery momentum should provide support. The Government will closely monitor the situation.