Business confidence hits record highs across Asia while continuing to fall in the US

Global economic confidence has improved slightly this quarter, as high performance across Asia and Africa offset depressed confidence in the Middle East and the Americas. According to the latest Global Economic Conditions Survey (GECS), produced by ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) and IMA (the Institute of Management Accountants), confidence has benefitted from a sustained period of economic expansion since the global financial crisis.

“This quarter’s GECS suggests that the global economy is enjoying a strong recovery. While the global picture is optimistic, however, it does hide variations, with some regions doing much better than others,’ said Narayanan Vaidyanathan, senior business analyst at ACCA. South Asia was the most confident region in this quarter’s GECS, with the region’s two biggest economies, India and Pakistan, set to grow strongly over the next year. “Economic confidence across Asia-Pacific is also strong, reaching a record high after three consecutive quarterly increases. The recovery in global demand, and subsequent improvement in export prospects, has created the fastest local levels of growth in several years,” added Vaidyanathan. However, the survey paints a different picture in the US, where business confidence has fallen as the administration continues to deal with challenges in pushing through healthcare reform, tax cuts and increases in infrastructure spending. Canada has bee

Asia Pacific riding high
In Asia Pacific, economic confidence increased in Q3 for the third consecutive quarter to reach a new record high. This upswing is likely to be largely due to an improvement in export prospects.  Many of the region’s countries, including Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea and Thailand, are heavily trade-dependent. The recovery in global demand has therefore given them a significant boost. Growth in these countries is now the fastest in three years.

South Asia looking robust
In South Asia, confidence was higher than in any other region in Q3, and reached its highest level since the third quarter of 2016. This high confidence is mirrored by the underlying economics, with healthy growth expectations for the region’s two biggest economies, India and Pakistan.