Brit Bosses Globe’s Gloomiest Over World Economy

02 August 2002

The latest quarterly research by Taylor Nelson Sofres in conjunction with Deloitte Consulting The Global Economic Confidence Barometer – finds only a small majority (52%) of UK senior executives ‘confident’ that global economic conditions ‘will improve’ in the twelve months ahead – a far lower proportion than in Q1 and the biggest collapse in optimism among all the nations surveyed. However, only 13% believed they would actually worsen.

Over six hundred senior executives working in major companies were polled across North America, Asia Pacific and Europe. The global average of those declaring themselves ‘confident’ was 61%, with the sunniest view of the world economy being taken by Belgian bosses, 85% of whom believe things will get better (66% in Q1).

Of the business sectors surveyed, the cheeriest was financial services with seventy-one per cent of respondents taking the bull view, while at the other end of the mood spectrum was heavy industry which recorded a confidence drop of 27 percentage points. In the middle were the wholesale, travel and transport sectors, all registering 58% on the optimism scale.

Comments Gilbert Toppin, Deloitte’s European Operations Director: “Overall there has been a clear fall in the proportion of executives expecting global economic conditions to improve. However, the majority remains confident that conditions will get better. In the US, Europe and Asia Pacific, close to 60% of executives still expect economic conditions to improve.

“Interest rates remain very low by historical standards throughout Europe and especially in the US and Japan,” continued Toppin. “Fiscal policy is likely to become more expansionary in the UK and the US. The policy stance of monetary and fiscal authorities throughout the developed world is likely to help boost growth which has been beneath trend in much of the developed world over the past year.

“In light of all this, a general belief that conditions will improve is not surprising. Whether that belief can survive further sell-offs in stock markets remains to be seen.”

The survey samples ‘people who drive the global economy’, specifically chief executive officers, chief financial officers, chief operating officers, chief information officers and heads of strategy. [“Blimey,” said WAMN’s office junior, “ain’t there sumfink missing somewhere, guv? Wasn’t there no marketing geezers lurking in the boardrooms?”]

Data sourced from: Daily Research News Online; additional content by WARC staff