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US companies are still betting on Chinese consumers, despite coronavirus impact Mar 26, 2020
 
American companies in China are still betting on the local consumer, even if business disruptions from the coronavirus are dragging down revenues.

A survey of 119 companies from March 13 to 18 by the Beijing-based American Chamber of Commerce in China found that the proportion of respondents saying they are experiencing significant revenue declines increased to 50% — that’s up from 28% last month.

“The consumer sector as we see in this survey has been particularly hard hit,” Alan Beebe, AmCham China president, said on a call with reporters Wednesday morning. ”(It’s) the sector that had one of the largest revenue disruptions.”

“On the other hand, it’s the sector, along with technology, where investment plans really haven’t changed,” he said. “The way I interpret that is, while they’re taking a hit short term, there’s no fundamental change in outlook.”

Officially called COVID-19, the highly contagious disease that emerged in late December in the Chinese city of Wuhan, has spread rapidly across the globe in the last few weeks. As of Wednesday, the virus has killed more than 16,000 people worldwide, with China accounting for over 3,200 of those deaths. Governments in countries from Italy to the United States have called for people to stay at home and for non-essential businesses to close.

The shutdowns have spurred fears of a global recession, sending financial markets worldwide churning.

Operating earnings per share for the S&P 500 are expected to grow just 0.2% this year, with that of consumer discretionary falling 1.3%, according to a March 20 note from Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at CFRA.



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Source: www.cnbc.com
 
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