The latest Thomson Reuters/INSEAD Asian Business Sentiment Index, representing the six-month outlook of 86 firms, slipped to 69 for the September quarter from 74 three months before. Business confidence among Asian companies fell for the first time in three quarters in July-September as escalating geo-political tensions outweighed an improved performance by most economies in the region.
While China, India and South Korea led the fall in sentiment in the third quarter, reflecting regional tensions and sluggish growth, most Southeast Asian economies and Australia put in a stable performance, limiting the downside in the overall index.
“Companies expressed concerns this quarter about trade and diplomatic tensions not only in the region but also in the world,” said Antonio Fatas, Professor of Economics at INSEAD. “This brought the index down, in a reflection of cautiousness because of the potential risks that could derail the current state of the economy,” he added.
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