The Thomson Reuters/INSEAD Asian Business Sentiment Index rose to 63 in Q4, up from 58 in Q3 which was a near three year low. While readings above 50 still indicates a positive outlook, the result is still one of the lowest readings in years.
Antonio Fatas from INSEAD noted in the release that “this confirms the reading of the previous quarter: there is more uncertainty, there are increasing concerns about growth,” And, “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.”
Global trade war is, by some distance, the biggest perceived risks to business outlook. China slowdown and higher interest rates followed and then Brexit. The report also noted that, “the dispute between the world’s two biggest economies, threatens businesses throughout the region due to global value chains.”