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Chinese businesspeople are world's 2nd most stressed: survey

(Xinhua)

08:48, February 24, 2012

BEIJING, Feb. 23 (Xinhua)-- Businesspeople around the world felt less stressed this year despite the sagging global economy, but those in the Chinese mainland reported being under more pressure and ranked as the second most stressed in the world, according to a survey published Thursday.

As much as 60 percent of businesspeople in the Chinese mainland said they were more stressed in 2011 compared to a year earlier, putting them second to their counterparts in debt-ridden Greece, the most stressed country where 67 percent of respondents reported higher levels of pressure, according to a survey conducted by the accounting firm Grant Thornton.

Their stress may come as an inevitable byproduct of ambition. As much as 24 percent of Chinese respondents said their pressure stems from the pursuit of business goals, and 20 percent thought it is difficult to balance work and life, the survey showed.

Meanwhile, Chinese businesspeople took the second least amount of annual leave over the past 12 months, with an average of seven days, or just two days more than their Japanese counterparts, it said.

Still the world's growth engine, China outpaced many economies last year. But Chinese entrepreneurs, especially owners of small and medium firms, saw profits squeezed by soaring prices, higher wages, shrinking export orders and tightening liquidity.

"Many business leaders have had to spend more time working in order to maintain their market competitiveness," said Xu Hua, chief managing partner and CEO of Grant Thornton China.

Last year, only 19 percent of bank lending went to small businesses, while total loans dropped 6 percent from 2010 to 7.5 trillion yuan (1.19 U.S. dollars).

China's consumer prices rose by 5.4 percent year-on-year in 2011, exceeding the government's full-year target of controlling inflation within 4 percent.

In 2011, 28 percent of businesspeople worldwide said they were under increased pressure, posting a sharp decline from 45 percent in 2010. Countries, including Denmark, the Netherlands, Australia and Russia, reported dramatic reductions in stress.

"China's business leaders should care more about health, both physically and mentally. As the leaders of enterprises, entrepreneurs in good health play a crucial role in the sustainable development of business," Xu added.

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