Hong Kong's economic woes deepen with plunging business outlook

Hong Kong's economic woes showed no sign of easing after a key measure of business confidence fell to its lowest level in more than a decade as the city reels from the global trade war and violent democracy protests.

The Purchasing Managers Index -- which measures the health of the private sector -- dropped to 39.3 in October, its worst reading since 2008 during the global financial crisis, heaping fresh misery on the unrest-plagued city.

The international finance has been plunged into a recession by the fallout from the China-U.S trade war and five months of seething pro-democracy protests that Beijing has taken a hardline approach against.

'IHS Markit', which surveys around 400 private companies to build the PMI dataset, said business activity was now falling at its fastest rate on record. The latest reading is well below the 50 level that separates growth from contraction and is also sharply down from the 41.5 seen in September.

"The ongoing political unrest and impact of trade tensions saw business activity fall at the sharpest pace since the survey started over 21 years ago," Bernard Aw, principal economist at 'IHS Markit', wrote.

"Anecdotal evidence revealed that the retail and tourism sectors remained particularly affected."

(Agencies)