LONDON--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--Economic confidence among European Union business leaders surged over the past quarter to its highest level since April 2011, according to the YPO Global Pulse survey of CEOs. Business leaders in the European Union are no longer the world’s least optimistic and are now only marginally less bullish than their counterparts in the United States and Asia.
“These results indicate that the outlook in the EU is improving and that business leaders believe we are emerging from the recession. Though businesses are still cautious on the pace of this emergence and we still have a long way to go, efforts of European institutions and national governments to address the key issues seem to be having an impact on the ground,” said Anastasios Economou, managing director of iGroup and executive member of YPO’s Greater Europe Chapter.
The YPO Global Pulse Confidence Index for the European Union climbed 3.4 points to 59.2 in the third quarter of 2013. A year ago, the index stood at 51.4, its lowest in the four and a half year history of the survey.
Rebound in confidence across EU member states: Business leaders in the United Kingdom witnessed a significant increase in confidence, rising almost 4 points to reach 65.0, its highest level since April 2011. German confidence edged up to 58.4, its highest level since July 2011. Meanwhile confidence in France climbed out of pessimistic territory to land in the cautiously optimistic mid-50s. Interestingly, on the back of the European Central Bank’s efforts to shore up the euro, overall sentiment in the peripheral countries most impacted by the eurozone crisis has become as positive as that of the core economies.
Increased sales forecasts boost confidence: The upturn in business confidence was mostly attributable to higher sales forecasts; more than half of the survey participants expected sales to increase over the next 12 months. However, hiring and capital spending plans in the EU remain more muted than the global composite.
The quarterly electronic survey, conducted in the first two weeks of July 2013, gathered answers from 2,113 chief executive officers across the globe, including 272 in the European Union. 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.