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Business confidence remains high in the GBA, despite US tariffs: survey

Over 1,000 Greater Bay Area companies were surveyed, with the results showing that overall business confidence was positive
  • The innovation and technology sector has been negatively impacted by the US tariffs, although confidence and expectation levels vary depending on the city

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UPDATED: 11 Jul 2024, 4:26 pm

Business confidence in the Greater Bay Area (GBA) remained robust in the second quarter of this year, in spite of the US’s imposition of tariffs on some Chinese products, according to a survey published by Standard Chartered and the Hong Kong Development Council. 

The GBA business confidence index for the second quarter stood at 54.1, a small decrease against the first quarter’s score of 54.3. Researchers said the totals were nonetheless among the “strongest level since the second quarter of 2021,” adding that they demonstrated “sustained expansionary momentum following a solid start to the year.” The expectation index grew from 54.0 in the first quarter to 54.8 in the second, which was noted as being the “first rise in five quarters.” 

With respect to individual GBA cities, Shenzhen had the highest business index score, with a total of 57.3. Hong Kong made significant gains, boosting its index from 43.3 to 47.1 between the two quarters, while Guangzhou saw its index drop to 51.1 from 53.6. 

[See more: Business confidence is soaring in the GBA, according to a new survey]

The business indices for the various industries gave a mixed picture. Some sectors witnessed growth, such as financial services (57.3, up 14.9 points), professional services (53.2, up 7.6 points) and retail and wholesale (57.9, a 4-point rise). Others fell, including manufacturing and trading (53.9, down by 0.8), as well as innovation and technology (43.0, down 13.9).

According to Standard Chartered, the tech sector saw its business index plummet due to the recent US tariffs on Chinese goods. However, it noted that the expectation level for those in the industry varied widely across the major cities, with Hong Kong registering a score of 76 and Shenzhen recording a total of just 33.7. 

Conducted each quarter, the survey involves participation from over 1,000 GBA firms that span a range of industries. 

UPDATED: 11 Jul 2024, 4:26 pm

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