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FT/Economist Global Business Barometer shows mixed sentiment

The Financial Times and The Economist today publish the results from the latest Global Business Barometer, which reveals that business executives in North America and Europe are not as pessimistic about the global economy in comparison to their peers in emerging market regions.

The barometer, which launched in May 2011, aims to establish business sentiment felt by business leaders not only globally but by region and sector. The barometer surveyed 1,700 senior executives in January 2012 and found sentiment across regions varied, with North American business leaders registering greater optimism than their peers in emerging markets when it comes to the outlook for their own companies and industries, with the exceptions of Africa and the Middle East.

Overall, it found 45% of respondents expected global conditions to worsen in the next six months compared to 53% of those surveyed last quarter. However, business leaders are less pessimistic than they were in the previous barometer survey with 17% expecting the global economy to improve versus less than 15% last quarter.

When questioned on the topic of the possibility of a eurozone break-up, companies in Western Europe were no more likely to have made contingency plans than peers in other regions.

For further analysis of the Global Business Barometer results and interactive graphic, go to www.ft.com/barometer.

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