Asian business confidence near 3-year low on trade worries - Thomson Reuters/INSEAD survey
According to the latest Thomson Reuters/INSEAD survey, the business confidence among the Asian companies remains near three-year lows amid US-China trade risks.
“Representing the six-month outlook of 84 firms, the Thomson Reuters/INSEAD Asian Business Sentiment Index edged up to 63 in the October-December quarter, slightly above a near three-year low of 58 seen in the previous period.
Antonio Fatas, a Singapore-based economics professor at global business school INSEAD, noted: “This confirms the reading of the previous quarter: there is more uncertainty, there are increasing concerns about growth. This doesn’t mean there is going to be a crisis over the next quarters, but if there is one, this is an indication that it wouldn’t be a large surprise to some.”
Once again, a global trade war was cited as the chief business risk by respondents. A slowdown in the world’s second-biggest economy China and higher interest rates were also cited as risk factors.
The survey was conducted in 11 Asia-Pacific countries, across a range of sectors from Nov. 30 to Dec. 1.”