MUMBAI (Reuters) – Confidence among Asian companies in the June quarter fell to its lowest since the 2008-09 financial crisis, as a U.S.-China trade war disrupts global supply chains and shows little sign of easing soon, a Thomson Reuters/INSEAD survey found.
The Thomson Reuters/INSEAD Asian Business Sentiment Index tracking companies’ six-month outlook worsened in the three months ended June to 53, versus 63 in the previous two quarters.
Reading - Means - Respondents - Pessimists - Worries
A reading above 50 means optimistic respondents outnumbered pessimists, but worries about the threat of a prolonged trade war drove the index to its lowest since the June quarter of 2009, when the first edition of the survey was released.
“There was a big dip (in the index) three quarters ago, and we felt it was the uncertainty about the trade war and people were worried about the future,” said Antonio Fatas, a Singapore-based economics professor at global business school INSEAD.
Sense - Quarters - Numbers - Uncertainty - Slowdown
“We get a sense after four quarters of low numbers that now, it’s not just uncertainty. This is a true slowdown in growth. We see activity declining — it’s not just the expectation that activity will decline,” Fatas added.
For a fourth straight quarter, survey participants cited the global trade war as the chief risk to business, followed by Brexit and a slowdown in the Chinese economy.
Survey - Companies - Countries - Product - %
The survey interviewed 95 companies in 11 Asia-Pacific countries that together contribute about a third of global gross domestic product and are home to 45% of the world’s population.
It was conducted from May 31 to June 14.
Index - Point - Suggests - Companies - Region
The index staying above the neutral point of 50 suggests companies in the region are not expecting an imminent global...
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