The Thomson Reuters/INSEAD Asian Business Sentiment Index dropped sharply from 63 to 53 in Q2. Worries over US-China trade war sent sentiments down to the worst reading since Q2 of 2009. The index tracks companies’ six-month outlook. The survey interviewed 95 companies in 11 Asia-Pacific countries that together contribute about a third of GDP and are home to 45% of the world’s population. It was conducted from May 31 to June 14.

Antonio Fatas, professor at global business school INSEAD said “it was the uncertainty about the trade war and people were worried about the future”. And, “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.”

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