(Yicai Global) Jan. 13 — The Shanghai Investor Confidence Index stood unchanged in the fourth quarter of last year amid China’s economic recovery and inclusive policies to support small companies.

The index retained a figure of 120.61 points, the same as in the third quarter but 6.4 points down from a year earlier, according to a report released by the Shanghai University of Finance and Economics today.

The report is based on surveys with entrepreneurs, as well as institutional and individual investors, in the eastern city. It includes sub-indexes. Those revealed that among respondents, entrepreneurs had the highest trust in the investment landscape in the fourth quarter.

The entrepreneur confidence index recorded 123.83 points, up 1.6 points from the third quarter and almost 5.4 points lower from a year ago, indicating satisfaction with operations and future prospects. Four sub-indexes tracking firms’ development, sales, profits, and expectations jumped from the quarter before.

The unique boost is rooted in policy support. The government’s inclusive policies for micro, as well as small and medium-sized companies have recently eased firms’ financing difficulties and lowered their borrowing costs, said Xu Guoxiang, director of the SUFE’s applied statistics research center.

Meanwhile, the manufacturing sector’s cost pressures have been reduced to some extent by the big drop in commodity prices since October which has guaranteed their profit margins, Xu added.

Other sub-indexes were less impressive. The institutional investor confidence index tallied 122.21 points, down almost 5.4 points from the third quarter and 7.2 points less than a year ago. The indicator of individual investor confidence stood unchanged at 103.88 points but down nearly 10.6 points from a year earlier.

The investment climate confidence index climbed 4.3 points to 130.32 points in the fourth quarter, indicating that investors remained optimistic about the investment environment. The index is still down 2 points from a year ago. 

Editor: Emmi Laine, Xiao Yi