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Global economy at a tipping point

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Business confidence levels within the finance sector may have been lower in Q4 2012, but Asia, Africa and Western Europe are leading the recovery with slight progress.

According to The Global Economic Conditions Survey, the number of professionals who felt a decrease in business confidence grew by 2%, from 41% in Q3 2012 to 43% in Q4.

However, the recovery – albeit a weak one – is being led by Asia, Africa and Western Europe, where companies are seeing progress made within the labour market. The Asia Pacific and Western European regions have also witnessed increased capital spending, notably in Hong Kong and Ireland.

Despite GDP figures going south, respondents in Singapore reported a slight increase in business confidence, the survey, which was conducted in partnership with ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) and the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA), found.

“Global business confidence and perceptions of the global economy are tightly correlated; it is unusual for these two indicators to move in opposite directions,” Manos Schizas, senior economic analyst at ACCA, said.

Schizas said there are “reasons to be optimistic” as we move further into this year, as the situations in China, Europe and the US seem to be either coming to an end or stabilising, indicating a possibly more positive future for the world economy.

“But there’s no denying the fact that the fundamentals are deteriorating and business conditions on the ground are becoming more challenging. Meanwhile, the economics and politics of stimulus and austerity will be debated furiously until growth takes a sharp turn for the better – or worse,” he said.



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