By Chester Yung

HONG KONG--The Nikkei Hong Kong Purchasing Managers Index fell to 48.2 in October from 49.3 in September, staying in contractionary territory for the 20th consecutive month and indicating a further deterioration in Hong Kong's private sector, index compiler IHS Markit said Thursday.

The October PMI reading was lower mainly because output and new orders continued to weaken along with an accelerated decline in new business from mainland China, IHS Markit said. A PMI reading above 50 indicates an expansion in manufacturing activity, while a reading below that points to a contraction.

IHS Markit economist Bernard Aw said the latest data reflected a challenging business environment. "The level of purchasing activity among Hong Kong private enterprises renewed its decline, leading to a fall in inventories for the first time in four months," Mr Aw said.

"Unless we see evidence of stronger client demand in the coming months, the private sector is unlikely to lift itself out of the current downturn," he said.

The PMI is derived from indexes that measure changes in output, new orders, employment, suppliers' delivery times and stocks of goods purchased. The PMI is based on a survey of about 300 companies.

Write to Chester Yung at chester.yung@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 02, 2016 23:03 ET (03:03 GMT)

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