Businesses gloomy over euro troubles

Julian Harris
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BUSINESS leaders throughout the world hold an extremely gloomy outlook for the near future, a survey has revealed this morning.

Seven in 10 senior business workers say it is “very likely” or “somewhat likely” that a global economic recession will arrive in the coming months, according to research by the Harvard Business Review.

Europe’s ongoing troubles dominate the respondents’ concerns, with over a third (34.5 per cent) expecting the continent’s economy to expand by less than one per cent this year.

Even next year, Europe’s economy will fail to surpass 1.4 per cent growth, according to 57 per cent of those surveyed.

Business leaders are similarly downbeat over their own firms’ prospects.

“Slightly more than half believe their companies will achieve revenue targets for 2011, but a significant portion -- at least a quarter of all respondents -- expect to miss the mark,” the report said.

“This translates into flat or diminished hiring expectations for most of those surveyed, with the exception of a significant minority, mostly in Asia, who believe hiring will go up for their firms this year.”

Asia’s emerging economies are hotly tipped to compete for the position of global economic leader in 10 years from now; over half (52.1 per cent) expect China to take the position, while 16.1 per cent think that Indian’s economy will become number one.

But some business leaders “questioned whether their economic policies and internal structures would be able to sustain them.”

America is still perceived as the most innovative country in the world, according to nearly half the respondents (46.3 per cent). China was in second place, yet only one in 10 business leaders considered it the most innovative country in the world.