Wires

Hong Kong Sept PMI hits 4-month low, points to contraction

* Average PMI for Q3 at 50.2, slightly higher than Q2

* Output and new orders fall at fastest rate since Nov 2011

* Private sector employment fell for fifth consecutive month

* Input prices increase

HONG KONG, Oct 8 (Reuters) - Data from the HSBC Hong KongPurchasing Managers' Index for September:

KEY DATA

Sep Aug Jul Jun May Apr Mar Feb JanHK PMI 49.6 50.5 50.3 49.8 49.4 50.3 52.0 52.8 51.9

A survey reading above 50 indicates expansion. A figurebelow 50 denotes contraction.

CONTEXT:

* The latest PMI figure was the lowest in four months andsignalled a deterioration in operating conditions in Hong Kong'sprivate sector as output and new orders declined.

* The PMI averaged 50.2 in the three months to September,slightly better than the 49.8 registered in the three months toJune.

* Output contracted in September and the index was at itslowest level since November 2011.

* The volume of new orders received by private sectorcompanies in Hong Kong fell in September, and new orders frommainland China also declined. Total new orders fell to thegreatest extent since November 2011, although the rate ofcontraction was marginal overall.

* Private sector employment fell for a fifth consecutivemonth in September.

* Input costs faced by private sector companies increased inSeptember, with purchase prices and salary bills rising atfaster rates than in August. The rate of input price inflationwas moderate and the strongest in five months.

* Input inventories rose, although the rate of stockaccumulation was slightly weaker than the 17-month high recordedin August.

Commenting on the Hong Kong PMI survey:

"New orders slackened slightly in September, taking HongKong's private sector back into contraction (albeit marginal)mode," Donna Kwok, HSBC Greater China Economist in Hong Kong,said.

"Wage growth, however, picked up at the strongest pace infour months, driven not only by inflation but also genuinebusiness demand. This suggests that job market capacity remainstight, helping to underpin private consumption's role as a keygrowth driver for the economy," Kwok added.

About the Hong Kong PMI:

The data is collected by Britain-based Markit Group Ltd, andthe report is sponsored by HSBC

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(Reporting by Christina Lo; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani)

((christina.lo@thomsonreuters.com)(+852 2843-6960)(ReutersMessaging: christina.lo.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

Keywords: HONGKONG/PMI