A government survey finds that respondents in food services, manufacturing, financing, insurance, and real estate expect their headcount to increase in the first quarter of 2024.
By Maggie Mancini
Most businesses in Hong Kong anticipate headcount to increase or remain broadly unchanged in the first quarter of 2024 compared with the fourth quarter of 2023, according to the Quarterly Business Tendency Survey from the Census and Statistics Department of Hong Kong.
More respondents in the food services, manufacturing, financing, insurance, and real estate sectors expect their headcount to increase in the first quarter of the year. On the other hand, more respondents in the information and communications sector expect their employment to decrease. Further, 13% of respondents expect the first quarter of 2024 to be better for business, compared to 12% who expect it to be worse.
In most industries, respondents expect the prices of goods and services to remain unchanged in the first quarter of the year. The food services sector, however, expects their charges for food or services to go up in the first quarter of the year.
A government spokesman, who remains unnamed, says in the survey that business sentiment among large enterprises showed some softening compared to three months ago but remained positive overall. Large enterprises’ appetite for hiring also remained positive. Looking forward, further recovery of consumption and tourism-related activities should support business outlook.