December 12, 2016

According to the Compass Index, where 1,200 respondents across seven countries in APAC were surveyed, employees in Hong Kong, Singapore, China and Australia weren’t too optimistic about how external factors would affect their businesses this year.

In fact, 42.3% of workers in China expressed concern about how the world economy would affect their business, while 21.1% said they were worried about price pressure. Similarly in Hong Kong, 39.2% cited the global economy as a cause for concern while 27.2% listed price pressure as a business challenge.

Also in Singapore, 37.9% were worried about the effects of the world economy while at a close second, 36.5% showed concerns about price pressure.

“Hong Kong and Singapore, as two of the region’s most business-friendly financial hubs, are very important components to Asia’s economy. And that goes without saying that China as a global superpower is also influential. So naturally, business concerns in these markets may be important indicators for the rest of the region,” said Andrew Chung, CEO of Compass Offices.

Conversely in Australia, the Index showed that while just 13.9% are concerned about the world economy, 26.5% cite price pressures as the biggest challenge for next year. In second, 24% were worried about staff recruitment prospects. According to a 2015 analysis from the World Economic Forum, China’s transition from an investment to services-led economy will impact Australia’s export prices.

In the same vein, a 2016 East Asia Pacific economic update from the World Bank indicates that these concerns are not unwarranted as the region “faces significant risks to growth, including sluggish growth in the advanced economies, subdued prospects in most developing economies and stagnant global trade.” Despite the reported ‘sluggish growth’ in these advanced economies, China is projected to achieve “more sustainable growth, from 6.7% this year to 6.5% in 2017 and 6.3% in 2018.”

Findings in the earlier this year Compass Index show very different sentiments. While 43% of surveyed workers in Singapore were strongly confident in the growth of their business, 30% of those in Hong Kong were also optimistic about the future.

“This year has set the tone of 2017. We have noticed the shift towards a less optimistic attitudes in the workplace in Asia. These largely are impacted by businesses concern about the world economy and pricing pressures from their customers,” added Chung, “To compete, businesses are urged to rethink their business strategy and apply flexibility in any expansion plan.”