LONDON: Rising economic optimism in Europe and Asia has boosted confidence for the coming year among global executives. UK accounting and consulting firm Grant Thornton surveyed 7,200 business leaders in thirty-two countries, resulting in a confidence index six points up from the year-earlier poll, from 39 to 45.

The results of the survey, conducted in October and November 2006 show twenty-nine countries as 'optimistic' about their economy this year, with 24 being 'more optimistic' than in 2006.

Indian businesses lead the way, followed by those in the Philippines, China, Singapore and Ireland. European business leaders are also feeling more confident than US executives for the first time in the survey's five-year history.

Japanese managers dwelt at the lowest level of the confidence league, followed by those in Taiwan and Turkey. The US was fourth from bottom.

Comments Alex MacBeath, head of business services for Grant Thornton: "The rise in EU confidence is drawn both from the economic growth in the past year and economic reforms, particularly in Germany and Italy.

He adds: "In comparison the US has faced a period of slowing economic growth and political instability."

Data sourced from (Germany); additional content by WARC staff