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        US firms in China remain upbeat despite challenges

        Date:16.08.26

        Despite the mainland's economic slowdown and increasing competition from local companies,most US businesses in China remain profitable and are optimistic about the market,according to the latest survey by the US-China Business Council.

        The 2016 China Business Environment reporta USCBC annual membership surveyfoundthat 90 percent of companies remained profitablebut at lower margins that reflectedincreasing competitionrising costsregulatory hurdlesand in some sectorsovercapacity.

        The 90 percent profitability level is the second highest in the last five yearssurpassed only bythe 91 percent in 2013, according to the survey released on Tuesday.

        About 30 percent of the companies expected increased profitability in the current yearwhile35 percent expected the same as the previous yearThe remaining 35 percent expectedprofitability to fall.

        While China's economic slowdown is impacting US company financial and market sentiment,the report found that some 62 percent of the surveyed companies anticipated continuedgrowth this year, 21 percent expected no changeand 17 percent expected a revenuedecline.

        It found that 65 percent of companies surveyed reported revenue rises in 2015, while 10percent saw no changeand 26 percent saw sales fall.

        In other findsthe survey revealed that about 36 percent of the companies expected theirhead count to increase this yearwhile 44 percent expected no changewith the balanceexpecting some staff contraction.

        On the five-year outlook for business in Chinaoptimism prevailsThe findings were that 72percent of companies were optimistic or somewhat optimisticwhile only 10 percent werepessimistic or somewhat pessimistic.

        Despite the headwinds of the economy and competitionChina remains a priority market formost US companiesaccording to the surveywhich is in its 11th year.

        About 17 percent said China was their companiestop prioritywhile 67 percent said Chinawas among the top five priorities and 12 percent considered China one of many priorities.Only 4 percent said China was not a priority.

        On capital expenditurea total of 85 percent of the companies responded that they did notreduce or stop planned investments in China in 2015.

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