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CEO Confidence in Asia Improves, According to Latest YPO Survey

February 5, 2014 - Singapore

The YPO Global Pulse Confidence Index for Asia climbed for the second consecutive quarter, gaining another 3.5 points to land at 63.6. Business confidence surged in China, Japan and India against a backdrop of stimulative government policy and encouraging economic data. Meanwhile, confidence in Southeast Asia moved in the opposite direction. Sentiment in the fast-growing Asian Tiger Cub economies (Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand) has dropped 8.5 points over the past year to 60.1, its lowest level in the five-year history of the index.


“CEOs in the region are encouraged not only by the Bank of Japan’s quantitative easing programme, but also the economic reforms announced by China in November and signs of economic resurgence in India,” said Terry O’Connor, regional chief executive officer of Courts Asia and executive member of the YPO Singapore Chapter. “At the same time, capital outflows, reduced liquidity and currency depreciation brought about by higher long-term interest rates in the United States continue to take their toll on CEO sentiment in Southeast Asia.”


Globally, a rising tide of optimism lifted business confidence in all regions except Africa and Australasia, where CEO sentiment edged lower from already-lofty levels. Notably, the European Union surged to a new high of 62.2, and the United States broke out of its 15-quarter rut, jumping 3 points to 63.5. The global index stands at 63.0.


Key findings in Asia


Improvement in business climate expected soon: Surveyed CEOs were markedly more optimistic than they were last quarter. Only 9% thought conditions would deteriorate over the next six months; last quarter, 17% were pessimistic. The biggest turn-around in sentiment came from the production (manufacturing and construction) sectors, where 60% of survey participants said conditions would improve over the next six months – up significantly from the 39% who said so in October.


Stronger sales, employment and fixed investment expected for 2014: Business leaders in Asia expressed strong confidence in their ability to grow sales, with nearly three-quarters (74%) expecting turnover increases of at least 10% over the next 12 months. Similarly, a majority (54%) planned to step up fixed investments and more than a third (36%) intended to hire more workers.


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Source: Business Wire India


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