Despite a drop in Asia’s overall business sentiment, Singapore companies were more optimistic in the third quarter of 2017, reported TODAYonline, citing a research by INSEAD and Thomson Reuters published on Wednesday (20 September).
In fact, the city-state recorded a score of 64 in the three-month period compared to 62 in the prior quarter, with 26 local businesses participating in the poll. A figure above 50 denotes an upbeat market.
Meanwhile, the score for the region as a whole slipped from 74 in Q2 2017 to 69 in the latest Thomson Reuters/INSEAD Asian Business Sentiment Index. In total, 86 firms took part in the survey conducted between 1 and 15 September 2017, and the reading represents their six-month outlook.
“Companies expressed concerns this quarter about trade and diplomatic tensions not only in the region but also in the world,” said Antonio Fatas, an economics professor based in Singapore working for global business school INSEAD.
South Korea was the least upbeat, with its sub-index falling the steepest among the markets from 75 to 50, after North Korea recently carried out a series of nuclear tests and missile launches.
China and India along with South Korea posted the biggest drop in sentiment. The Chinese market’s sub-index plunged to 63, or its lowest since Q4 2015, while that for India declined to a similar level from 82 in the second quarter.
On the other hand, Indonesia’s sub-index reached 100 following a 17-point jump, albeit only three companies there participated in the poll, while Australia’s score rose from 67 to 69.
Meanwhile, the reading for Malaysia, Taiwan, and the Philippines were all unchanged.