An index measuring the performance of industrial small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in China registered a rebound in the fourth quarter of 2018 as continued policy support for the private sector boosted business confidence.
The index rose to 92.7 points in the Oct.-Dec. period, reversing a decline for two consecutive quarters, according to a report compiled by the national economic planner and a business group of SMEs.
In breakdown, seven sub-indices on areas ranging from the macro economy to production costs improved, and only that for labor force went down.
The pick-up came on the heel of a raft of favorable policies from the government for the real economy in particular small players, including tax breaks, easier lending and fewer restrictions.
The report also showed indices for SMEs in building, transport and wholesale sectors gained, as well as hotel and catering services, while indices for those in property, social services and information sectors dropped.
The general index for SME development stood at 93, flat with the previous quarter.
More time is needed for further improvement in the performance of SMEs as challenges at home and abroad have lingered and some measures have yet to take effect, the report said.
The SME development index, released quarterly by the National Development and Reform Commission and the China Association of Small and Medium Enterprises, tracks 2,500 companies in eight major sectors in China.