Business sentiment in Asia is crumbling at a record pace on slowing economic growth in China and concerns over the global outlook, a survey by Thomson Reuters and INSEAD shows.
The Thomson Reuters/INSEAD Asian Business Sentiment Index for the third quarter tumbled to 60, the lowest in almost four years, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported Thursday.
The figure slumped 15.49 percent from the previous quarter, the sharpest decline since the surveys began in 2009.
It slid 9.09 percent from the third quarter last year.
The poor sentiment among Asian companies reflects the uncertainty brought on by China’s slowing economic growth, with no other growth engine in the region being able to serve as a substitute, said Antonio Fatas, an economics professor at INSEAD.
Singapore’s sub-index showed the most profound decline, to 14 from 59 in the second quarter, but the Philippine sub-index surged dramatically from 78 to 100 amid a big boost in the economy provided by a substantial increase in government spending.
Companies in the shipping and financial sectors were the most pessimistic.
The shipping sub-index slumped to a record low of 25, and the sub-index for the financial industry dropped to 40, also a record.
Technology companies, in contrast, were the most optimistic, with a sub-index of 81, driven up by expectations of robust sales in semiconductors and mobile phones.
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