More than half of the Chinese companies surveyed by a leading US business lobby in Shanghai believe the country’s economic management is deteriorating, reports the Financial Times. The American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai called for a relaxation of China’s strict zero-COVID policy as it found that around a fifth of the 307 companies it surveyed were pulling back on investment, mostly as a result of coronavirus measures.
Although 55% of the businesses remained optimistic over a longer-term horizon of a three-to-five-year period, this was the lowest level since the survey began in 1999.
Chinese officials frequently impose citywide lockdowns that confine people to their homes after just a handful of positive cases. As a result, business activity in Shanghai—China’s financial center—was severely disrupted for more than two months in the spring, stunting economic growth.