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SEB’s China Financial Index bounces back from record low in spring

SEB's China Financial Index, which measures the business outlook among northern European companies' subsidiaries in in China, rebounded sharply this autumn after dropping to its lowest level on record in the spring when the COVID-19 pandemic hurt sentiment.

The index value in the latest survey, conducted between 23 November and 7 December, increased to 57.3. That compares with 46.6 in the April survey, which marked the first time that business outlook confidence fell below the neutral mark of 50.0, and the index is now well back in positive territory.

"Although not coming as a total surprise for those on the ground in China, it is very encouraging to see how quickly positive sentiment returned to our client base," says Thilo L. Zimmermann, General Manager of SEB's Shanghai branch. "For now, the strict lockdown in early 2020 seems to have worked out for the Chinese economy and the foreign companies engaged in the country."

SEB's China Financial Index is based on input from CEOs, CFOs and Treasurers at about 50 subsidiaries of major Swedish, Finnish, Norwegian, German, British and Swiss companies. It is based on four components: order intake, profit expectations, investment plans and employment plans.

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