Growth for small and medium Chinese enterprises slowed in January, Standard Chartered said, adding that they are slated to face more obstacles in the near future.
The Small and Medium Enterprise Confidence Index, released by the UK-based bank, fell to 53.8 points in January from 55.3 points in December 2017, while the SME growth momentum index also reversed from 11.2 points to 9.8 points.
The present situation index and expectation index also dipped, indicating that SMEs were likely to confront a weaker growth trend in the first quarter, the bank said in a report.
"The decrease in demand is dragging on production, and the willingness of SMEs to invest remains low," Shen Lan, economist of Standard Chartered China, said.
"The first quarter of 2018 is expected to see more obstacles including the decline of investment and production while stricter regulations will lead to slower growth in (China's) gross domestic product," Shen said.