The CKGSB Business Sentiment Index
The CKGSB Business Sentiment Index

CKGSB’s Center on Finance and Economic Growth surveys more than 2,000 Chinese companies from within the industrial sector every quarter to provide the most comprehensive set of independent data currently available. Led by CKGSB Professor of Finance Gan Jie, this large-scale, micro-level quarterly company survey on China’s industrial economy, which began in 2014 Q2, sheds light on how the sector is coping and what types of reforms are needed—based not on opinion, but on a painstaking, fact-gathering process.

Described as the first of its kind, Professor Gan’s survey is based on stratified random sampling by industry, region and size from the National Bureau of Statistics’ population of 488,000 industrial firms that have sales of over five million RMB. The survey has around 2,000 responding firms each time.

Each quarter, Professor Gan reveals her survey findings, which are often surprising, given the usual themes found in the media today. She then outlines some policy recommendations which are necessary to deal with the problems exposed by the survey’s data.

Latest survey results

The key findings from Professor Gan Jie’s 2019 Q2 report are as follows:

  • The Business Sentiment Index (BSI) stood at 51, indicating a slight expansion.
  • Investments were still weak in Q2. The proportion of firms with expansionary investments dropped significantly from 5% in Q1 to a 2-year low of 2%. 
  • The proportion of firms affected by the US-China Trade War increased by 2 points to 19%. Affected firms were mainly export firms, which accounted for 32$ of the sample. Among these export firms, 33$ were affected in Q2 and 7% reported a significant impact.
  • Weak demand is still by far the biggest challenge for the industrial economy. 59% of firms surveyed in Q2 cited a lack of orders.
  • 71% of firms reported oversupply in the domestic market.
  • Costs continued to rise but to a lesser extent significant.
  • Financing is not a bottleneck with only 1% of firms citing financing as a constraining factor. 

The full survey can be downloaded via the links below (Chinese version available here).

For more information, or to arrange an interview with Professor Gan, please email

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February 19, 2020

Dear all students, staff and members of the CKGSB community,

As the public health emergency caused by COVID-19 is still ongoing, I hope you are all staying safe and healthy. The safety of our staff and students are our top priority at this point, which is why all staff members will work remotely for the time being. In addition, we will offer online learning to our students, in order to continue our curriculum offering, and provide a series of webinars for the wider community on relevant topics.

Fundamental to the core of Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business’ (CKGSB) vision is to cultivate transformative business leaders with a strong sense of social responsibility. To this extent, I’m extremely proud to see the CKGSB community coming together in recent weeks to provide support through donations big and small. Meanwhile, our professors are examining the economic and social impact of the virus and will continue to release data and analysis in the coming weeks.

We will continue to support relief efforts and work together with government agencies, private corporations and international organizations in a meaningful way. Our thoughts and wishes are with all of the people affected by the COVID-19.


Founding Dean
Professor of China Business and Globalization
Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business