CEOs bullish on EU prospects despite Greek crisis

Global poll of business leaders suggests confidence remains high in the face of possible weakening of the EU.

CEOs across the world remain confident in the EU and about the immediate outlook as a whole, according to a report by the Young Person’s Organisation (YPO).

The YPO Global Pulse Confidence Index is based on a survey of more than 2,000 global CEOs – including 193 from within the EU. It takes the results to give a confidence index out of 100 on a range of subjects.

It suggests the confidence index for the EU reached a record high of 62.5 in the first quarter of the year. This has slipped slightly to 61.6 in Q2 but remains at one of the highest levels seen.

The global composite confidence level among CEOs was 60.9 – meaning the EU remains ahead of the worldwide average for the second consecutive quarter. This comes after the European confidence level trailed the global average for six consecutive years (since the start of the survey).

Only CEOs in the US (62.8) and Asia (62.0) feel more confident about their regions and the immediate outlook than their European counterparts.

Within the EU there is understandably a large dip in confidence in the Greek market. The confidence rating fell 18.1 points to 40.7 – the lowest level since the sovereignty crisis of summer 2012.

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But other markets have also suffered less dramatic decreases in confidence. Italy (-3.5), France (-3.6) and Germany (-4.7) all saw dips in the second quarter of the year. The UK’s rating also decreased by 3.4 points but it remains high at 65.3 (almost 10 points higher than Germany).

But overall CEOs across the globe are confident about their own business’s immediate futures. Almost two-thirds (62%) expect their revenues to grow in the next 12 months. One-third expect to increase headcount and 39% predict an increase in fixed investment.

When it came to the individual components of the YPO Global Pulse Index, tracking sales, employment and fixed investment, CEOs were also positive. Sixty-two percent of respondents expected to grow revenues in the next twelve months, 33% expected to increase headcount and 39% expected increased levels of fixed investment within their organisations.

YPO Europe chair Anastasios Economou said he believed the Europe-wide confidence is based on “an improving real economy situation in most of Europe that can withstand pressures being felt in individual smaller economies”.

“Whilst CEOs will remain cautiously optimistic, continuing to monitor key economic indicators, there is a sense that growth is set to pick up over the next six months, whatever the outcome of the situation in Greece,” he continued.

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Praseeda Nair

Praseeda Nair

Praseeda was Editor for from 2016 to 2018.

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