Grant Thornton has just published its international business Report, “The Global Economy in 2012: A Rocky Road to Recovery.” According to the figures, global business confidence is balanced on a knife edge heading into 2012. With the global economic outlook dominated by the crisis in the euro zone, fears are increasing that business growth will become even more difficult than in 2011.
The latest research shows that global business optimism in the fourth quarter of 2011 stands at net 0 percent, indicating a balance between those business leaders feeling optimistic about their economies in 2012 and those feeling pessimistic. It represents a further deterioration from 3 percent in Q3 2011 and 31 percent in Q2 2011.
Optimism levels in the BRIC economies (up from 25 percent to 34 percent) and North America (up from 3 percent to 6 percent) have shown significant improvement over the last quarter. However, at the global level, this has been offset by a large drop in Europe where optimism fell from 0 percent to -17 percent in Q4. In the euro zone optimism fell from 2 percent to -16 percent.
Drawing on more than 13,000 interviews in 39 economies, the study explores the trends that will shape the speed and trajectory of the recovery over the next 12 months, including demand, employment, investment, inflation and access to finance.
Access the full report here.