Business

US firms sour on future in China over trade war: Poll

SHANGHAI: The China-US trade war is souring the profit and investment outlook for American companies operating in the world's second biggest economy, a survey showed.

The annual poll by the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) in Shanghai found while most of its member companies stayed profitable last year, the number reporting revenue growth fell.

Projections for future revenue also dropped.

Five-year optimism sunk for the first time since 2015, when China's stock markets nosedived and the authorities fumbled their response.

"Revenue growth projections have lowered, optimism about the future has waned, and many companies are redirecting investment originally planned for China," AmCham said in a report on the survey published yesterday.

"With no sign of a trade agreement, 2019 will be a difficult year; without a trade deal, 2020 may be worse."

Most AmCham member companies were against the use of tariffs to handle trade disputes, with three quarters of respondents saying they were opposed.

The survey was conducted before the latest round of tariff increases took effect and got 333 responses.

Over a quarter of respondents said they had redirected investments planned for China to other locations - up 6.9 percentage points from the previous year. South-east Asia was the top destination. - REUTERS

BUSINESS & FINANCE