CKGSB Knowledge Authors

Business Conditions Index: Cautious Optimism for the Chinese Economy

November 24, 2015

Beijing-Financial-Street-650x400

The CKGSB Business Conditions Index shows that businesses in China remain confident, but it remains unclear if they will continue to.

In October 2015, the CKGSB Business Conditions Index (BCI) posted a figure of 54.0, a mild rise over the previous monthly reading of 51.1 and slightly above the confidence threshold of 50. The BCI hit a 14-month high of 61.3 in May 2015 before sliding steadily, with readings from July to September hovering above 50, indicating that the sample firms became less optimistic about business conditions with regard to the following six months. Despite a moderate rally this month, it is still unclear whether or not the ongoing momentum will hold. As a result, we need to maintain cautious optimism with regard to these short-term economic trends.

The BCI, directed by Li Wei, Professor of Economics at the Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business, asks respondents to indicate whether their firm is more, the same, or less competitive than the industry average (50), and from this we derive a sample competitiveness index (see Industry Competitiveness Index). As our sample firms are in a relatively strong competitive position in their respective industries, the CKGSB BCI indices tend to be higher than government and industry PMI indices.

Chart-001
Business Conditions Index (Click to enlarge)

 

Chart-002
Industry Competitiveness Index (Click to enlarge)

The sales index posted relatively strong growth, up to 61.6 from 56.6, while the profits index also witnessed a mild rise this month to 51.4 from 48.7, bouncing back over the mark of 50. The trend reversal isn’t that impressive, indicating that firms still have limited confidence in their profit prospects in the near future. The financing index edged down to 47.0 in October from 48.4 in the previous month—the index has long stayed below the mark of 50, suggesting a tough financing environment in which the sample firms operate.

The consumer price index plummeted once again, down to 41.4 from 50.0—it has truly had a roller coaster ride over the years. Meanwhile, the product price index edged up from 27.7 to 32.4, yet remained in extremely low territory. In general, all the price-related indices have stayed weak since January 2014.

Chart-003
Corporate Sales & Corporate Profits (Click to enlarge)

 

Chart-004
Financing Index (Click to enlarge)

 

Chart-005
Producer Prices & Consumer Prices (Click to enlarge)

 

Enjoying what you’re reading?

Sign up to our monthly newsletter to get more China insights delivered to your inbox.

Our Programs

The Biotech Innovation Program

Global Unicorn Program Series

This program equips CEOs and founders in the life sciences and biotechnology industry with the essential knowledge and connections needed to thrive in this rapidly evolving sector.

LocationUniversity of California, San Diego, USA

DateSeptember 9-13, 2024

LanguageEnglish

Learn more

CKGSB-ESMT Global Unicorn Program in Deep Tech

Global Unicorn Program Series

The program will provide practical business strategies to grow, scale, globalize, and potentially exit deep tech ventures and will touch upon the latest insights on deep tech advancements, such as AI, cutting-edge computing, and cybersecurity innovation.

LocationBerlin

DateOctober 28-31, 2024

LanguageEnglish

Learn more

Global Unicorn Program: Scaling for Success in the Age of AI

Global Unicorn Program Series

In collaboration with the Stanford Center for Professional Development (SCPD), this CKGSB program equips entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs and key stakeholders with the tools, insights, and skills necessary to lead a new generation of unicorn companies.

LocationStanford University Campus, California, United States

DateDec 09 - 13, 2024

LanguageEnglish

Learn more

Emerging Tech Management Week: Silicon Valley

This program offers insights into emerging technology developments and the skills required to innovate, grow, and transform your business strategy.

LocationUniversity of California, Berkeley, USA

DateNovember 3-8, 2024

LanguageEnglish

Learn more