While there is little comfort in the headline findings of the third Global Economic Conditions Survey, it is important to appreciate that regional variations are substantial.
Respondents in the Asia-Pacific region, Africa and, to some extent, Central and Eastern Europe, are reporting much higher levels of business confidence and are more optimistic than their counterparts in Western Europe and the Americas.
Particularly noteworthy is the fact that the Asia Pacific region is in positive territory on all of our major indices. This includes income expectations, which appear to have lagged the surge in business confidence by no more than one quarter.
One of our key questions following previous surveys was whether these economies would remain strong enough to pull the rest of the world out of recession. It is now increasingly likely that they will.