Mounting trade risks are dragging down the the confidence of senior finance officers at companies operating in China, according to the results of a survey by Deloitte released Wednesday.
The consultancy polls financial executives twice a year about their attitudes on trade and business for its China CFO Survey. Asked to describe changes in sentiment over the past six months, 82 percent of respondents said their economic outlooks had become less optimistic. That marked a significantly change from the prior poll, where just 30 percent said their expectations had grown less rosy.
"There has been a sharp shift in sentiment," William Chou, national managing partner of the Deloitte China CFO Program, said in a release announcing the results, citing factors including a lack of resolution to the ongoing tariff conflict between Beijing and Washington and China's struggling stock markets.
The struggling stocks have been blamed in part on the ongoing trade war between the world's two largest economies. U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping earlier this month declared a 90-day ceasefire in the conflict pending further negotiations, but a host of tariffs already imposed by both sides remain in place and the outlook for a resolution remains unclear.
Deloitte received 108 responses to the poll from executives at a mix of multinational, state-owned and privately owned companies operating in mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau. The survey was conducted between September and November.
A total of 69 percent of respondents hold positions at the level of CFO or finance director, while 8 percent are vice presidents, Deloitte said.