Hong Kong’s private sector activity contracted in March, after expanding in the previous month, results of a survey by Markit Economics and HSBC Bank showed Thursday.

The HSBC purchasing managers’ index, or PMI, for the private sector, fell to 49.6 in March from February’s one-year high of 50.7.

A reading above 50 indicates expansion in private sector activity while a score below 50 signals contraction.

Private sector output increased in March, but the rate of expansion slowed to a fractional pace.

New orders also increased only marginally in March, due to relatively subdued market conditions and recent exchange rate movements. New orders from Mainland China declined for the eighth successive month and at a modest rate.

Employment in the private sector continued to decline in March and the rate of job shedding accelerated slightly, but marginal overall.

On the price front, input costs increased further in March at a slower pace. This forced companies to raise their selling costs slightly.

The material has been provided by InstaForex Company – www.instaforex.com