EU business leaders say bah to Brexit: They're the most confident in the world

Rebecca Smith
Reigning supreme? EU business leaders are feeling optimistic
Reigning supreme? EU business leaders are feeling optimistic (Source: Getty)

Theresa May is triggering Article 50 by the end of March next year, but for now, EU business leaders are feeling confident.

They don't think the impact of Brexit is likely to be felt for some time.

Leadership organisation YPO has said that economic confidence among chief executives in the European Union bounced back in the third quarter; and they don't do things by halves. EU business leaders are now reporting the highest levels of confidence in the world.

The YPO Global Pulse Confidence Index had the EU rise 2.2 points to 60.7, ranking the region as the most optimistic in the world, surpassing both the US and Asia. It was also 1.5 points ahead of the global score of 59.2.

Its index is centred on 50; a reading below indicates a negative outlook, while a reading above indicates a positive outlook.

Read more: Draghi's five-year anniversary reminds us of an important fact about Brexit

It reversed the decline felt in the second quarter following the UK's decision to leave the EU.

Now what's causing this upturn in mood? Well a swing in confidence among the three largest economies in the region played a big role. Germany reported a rise in confidence, jumping 3.6 points from 55.5 to 59.1 and France increased a point to 59.7 (its highest level since April last year). And the UK also reported an improvement in confidence, gaining 1.6 points to land at 59.5.

EU confidence against global confidence
EU confidence against global confidence (Source: YPO)

It had dropped 5.0 points in the previous quarter, but now British business leaders are feeling good as it became clear that any meaningful moves to withdraw from the EU will not take place for several years. The weakened pound hasn't been good news for everyone, but it did improve conditions for UK exporters.

Read more: Eurozone GDP rises as inflation hits 28 month high

"There is obviously still a huge amount of uncertainty across Europe, following the UK referendum result and continued concerns about the financial stability of several economies in the region," said Nikolaus Weil, member of the YPO Berlin Chapter. "However, business leaders have recognised that the real impact of Brexit is unlikely to be felt for some time and the current economic climate still offers strong opportunities for growth and investment."

YPO's Global Pulse Confidence Index was conducted in the first two weeks of October and gathered answers from 1,625 chief executives across the globe.

Related articles