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Grant Thornton: Fall in business optimism in mature economies

By Rob Starr, Content Manager,

The latest data from the Grant Thornton International Business Report (IBR), a survey of 3,200 business leaders in 44 economies, suggests economic uncertainty caused by concerns over the United States ‘fiscal cliff’ and ongoing fears over the long-term viability of eurozone is dampening growth prospects.
The fall in global business optimism has been largely driven by a huge fall in the world’s largest economy, the United States. Optimism amongst US business leaders climbed to 50% in Q2 this year, but slumped back to -4% in Q4 – the lowest since the depths of the financial crisis according to Grant Thornton.

Regionally, the IBR from Grant Thornton reveals a more mixed picture. Business optimism in the emerging markets of Latin America remained relatively stable over the last year, and actually increased to 69% in Q4, up from 61% this time last year. The BRIC economies (34% to 39%) also remained consistently optimistic, while Asia Pacific (excl. Japan) has seen a rise from 23% to 28% over the same period.

Ed Nusbaum, CEO of Grant Thornton International commented:

“There is no question that protracted negotiations over how to resolve both the sovereign debt crisis in the eurozone and the fiscal cliff in the United States have weighed heavily on business confidence over the past six months. With the economic outlook clouded by these issues, business investment becomes a much riskier proposition for many. ”





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