SINGAPORE--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--After having plunged in July to its lowest level in the history of the four-year series, the YPO Global Pulse Confidence Index for Asia regained 1.1 points in the third quarter to 60.1, virtually the same level it was one year ago. Business confidence among the various economies in Asia has been converging gradually over the past year as some of the hotter economies tempered their enthusiasm while the some of the more developed economies picked up the pace. For example, there is only a 7-point difference between CEO confidence in Japan and that of the fast-growing Asian Tiger Cub economies (Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand composite), whereas one year ago they were 17 points apart.
“On the flip side, confidence in developed economies has been improving over the past year, most notably in Japan.”
“Continued deceleration in China and rising interest rates in the region’s emerging markets have taken their toll on CEO sentiment in Asia,” said Terry O’Connor, regional chief executive officer of Courts Asia and chair of the YPO Singapore Chapter. “On the flip side, confidence in developed economies has been improving over the past year, most notably in Japan.”
Globally, overall confidence levels across different regions continued to converge, with less than a point now separating Asia and the EU, compared with a 12.8-point difference six months ago. While other regions showed marginal increases in optimism, confidence in the United States edged lower.
Key findings in Asia
Most companies not planning to hire new workers: Compared with the previous quarter, CEOs in Asia marginally improved their outlooks for sales and fixed investment, but not for hiring. At 56.0, the YPO Employment Confidence Index for Asia is at its lowest in the history of the survey.
Services sector most upbeat about short-term prospects: Looking ahead six months, CEOs in the services sector were the only ones more optimistic than they were last quarter. The majority of business leaders in the manufacturing and construction industries did not expect conditions to be better six months hence.
The quarterly electronic survey, conducted in the first two weeks of October 2013, gathered answers from 2,113 chief executive officers across the globe, including 290 in Asia. Visit www.ypo.org/globalpulse for more information about the survey methodology and results from around the world. For more information about YPO, visit www.ypo.org.