x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 16 January 2018

Business leaders confident

The level of confidence in economic growth among chief executives is reaching near pre-crisis levels.

Business leaders around the world are increasingly confident of economic growth this year.

In a poll by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), 48 per cent of chief executives said they were "very confident" there would be growth this year, up from 31 per cent last year.

The new optimism is approaching a level unseen since 2008, when 50 per cent of company leaders said they were very confident about growth before the global economic crisis, according to the PwC survey of 1,201 chief executives.

"Optimism is relatively high in the East - in Asia and the Middle East," said Panos Manolopoulos, a managing partner (Middle East) based in Dubai for Stanton Chase International. "It is relatively low in Europe, with the exception of Germany, which reflects the market."

PwC's survey conducted late last year also found more business leaders expected their operations would grow more quickly in Asia, Latin America and Africa compared with the Middle East.

But executives from the Middle East were the only ones who did not perceive a risk to their domestic economies from "possible contagion stemming from sovereign debt crises in countries like Greece and Ireland, as well as to the tax rises and public spending cuts that other governments are taking", according to PwC.