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Business in China still good despite trade tensions

U.S.-China trade conflict has affected Nordic and German companies active in China negatively, but business there so far this year was still good, shows a special edition of SEB's China Financial Index. Prospects for the medium term are neutral to positive.

After a period of uncertainty, starting with a tweet from president Trump in early May, SEB decided to conduct a special edition survey for its China Financial Index. Following the G20 summit in Osaka on 28-29 June, SEB's local client executives in China have surveyed mainly Nordic and German corporate clients active there to get the latest status on how the local market thinks and experiences the business climate.

"Over the last couple of years, SEB's corporate client base has experienced a strong performance in the Chinese market and generally reported increased sales. As the trade talks had loomed, optimism fell somewhat back. However, we see from this survey that only 15 per cent of the respondents report of negative year-over-year sales growth once we hit the first half mark of 2019," says Thilo L. Zimmermann, head of SEB's Shanghai branch.

"Close to 50 per cent of the respondents still expect growth in profit. However, there is a significant increase in corporates expecting their profit to decrease over the next six months compared to survey numbers from April this year, " says Client Executive Gaute Braastad Johansen.

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