Asian firms pick up confidence amid vaccines rollout, business activity revival

BEIJING, Dec. 24 (Xinhua) — Asian firms see a rebound in their business confidence as COVID-19 vaccines start rolling out and business activity pick up in the region, a Thomson Reuters/INSEAD survey showed.

The outlook for Asian companies in the next six months tracked by the Thomson Reuters/INSEAD Asian Business Sentiment Index rose to 62 this quarter from 53 in the previous quarter, according to the survey.

The latest number of 101 firms across 11 Asia-Pacific countries, which was conducted between Dec. 4-18, was the highest since the fourth quarter of 2019, the survey indicated.

“There’s a sense of optimism going forward. Things are getting better but they are getting better with still a dose of uncertainty,” said Antonio Fatas, Singapore-based economics professor at global business school INSEAD.

A quarter of the companies in the survey were most concerned about businesses shedding jobs, which would bite into consumption, it said.

Still, half of the respondents underscored the possible scarcity of vaccines in parts of the world at least in the initial stage as their biggest risk.

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