Asian business confidence accelerates, pandemic presses
A Thomson Reuters/INSEAD survey gauged Asian firms’ confidence at its highest level this year in the fourth quarter. The upbeat reading followed after business activity accelerated across the region and as Western countries started their inoculation ahead of Asia.
The Thomson Reuters/INSEAD Asian Business Sentiment Index was read at 63, placing higher than the 53 reading seen in the third quarter. The figure came as the highest quarterly jump the index had made since the fourth quarter of 2019. More so, it remained above the 50 threshold that separates expansion from contraction.
However, more than half of the respondents who participated in the survey flagged the coronavirus crisis and the possible scarcity of vaccines in some parts of the world as their biggest threat. While this is the case, the United States and Britain have been rolling out vaccines already.