U.S. and Chinese flags are seen in this illustration taken Jan. 30, 2023. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo Acquire Licensing Rights
SHANGHAI, Sept 19 (Reuters) - Political tensions and a slowing economy are sapping the confidence of U.S. businesses operating in China, with the number of companies optimistic about their five-year outlook falling to a record low, a survey published on Tuesday showed.
Even after the ending of COVID curbs, which weighed heavily on revenues and sentiment in 2022, the percentage of surveyed U.S. firms optimistic about the five-year China business outlook fell to 52%, according to the annual survey published by the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) in Shanghai.
This was the lowest level of optimism reported since the AmCham Shanghai Annual China Business Report was first introduced in 1999.
"Frankly, if there was one thing that surprised me about the survey this year it was that number," said AmCham Shanghai Chairman, Sean Stein. "By the time we did this year's survey a lot of the illusions had fallen away that we would see a sustained rebound in economic growth (post-COVID)."