Annual APAC business report finds hope for bright 2018

  • 40% of APAC businesses expect to hire more over the next 12 months, a three-year high.
  • China optimism at 52% - three-year high. 44% of firms there expect revenues to increase over the next 12 months, and 21% predict increased exports.
  • 46% of APAC businesses agree that the One Belt One Road initiative will provide significant growth opportunities.
  • The biggest threat to the region cited is ageing populations.

SINGAPORE--()--Grant Thornton’s annual APAC businesses report reflects a buoyant mood across much of the region as optimism hits a two-year high, driven by improvements from its two biggest economies: China and Japan.

Report and survey highlights:

Outlook brightens across Asia Pacific

  • Levels of optimism hit net 41% in Q3 2017.
  • 40% of businesses expect to hire more people over the next 12 months, a three-year high.

Not all trajectories are upwards

  • In Australia, business optimism has slipped from 75% a year ago to 58% now.
  • Optimism in New Zealand is down to 68% which is the lowest in two years.

Trade Prospects

  • 50% of businesses are confident that regional and geopolitical events will create a business environment that will allow free trade to prosper over the next five years. Only 6% are not confident this will be case. One in three (34%) remain neutral.

Opportunities in growing middle class

  • 30% cite this as an opportunity, up from 23% last year. India’s businesses are most positive (58%) about the growth opportunity presented by rapid middle-class growth.

One Belt One Road initiative

  • 46% of businesses agree that the One Belt One Road initiative will provide significant growth opportunities.
  • Support is particularly strong in India, where two in three firms (66%) agree it will provide significant growth opportunities.

Trans Pacific Partnership

  • 26% of businesses still see it as an opportunity for the region over the next five years. This is a slight increase from 12 months ago.

Demographics and geopolitical threats still linger

  • The biggest threat to the region is ageing populations, down 3pp from last year at 33%, but the second year straight that it has topped the list.

Contacts

Grant Thornton
John Vita
312 602 8955
John.Vita@gti.gt.com

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