Markit: emerging markets still “downbeat” about future

By Andrei Skvarsky.

Global financial information provider Markit says a survey it made last month suggests emerging markets remain “downbeat” about the future.

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“Improving confidence and post-crisis high capex and hiring intentions in the developed world contrast markedly with ongoing downbeat expectations for the year ahead across the emerging markets,” the London-headquartered company said in a report on February’s Global Business Outlook Survey, the latest of polls the firm takes three times a year at four-month intervals.

The surveys are based on responses from 11,000 companies across the world.

“In all cases, emerging market companies are on average far less optimistic about future business activity growth, capex and hiring than they were even at the height of the financial crisis in 2009, when optimism had shown surprising resilience,” the report said.

Brazil appeared to be the most upbeat of the BRICs, though less so than during the previous survey. Markit argued that the 2014 soccer World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics, which the South American country is going to host, partially explained its relative optimism.

“Some improvement was seen in China”, while Russia and India showed “new all-time lows”, the company said.

The report does not mention the Ukraine crisis. The upheaval in Kyiv was coming to a head just a couple of days before the poll was completed, while the turmoil in Crimea came after that.

At the same time, business expectations in the United States, Britain and the eurozone were quite high, and there were signs of improvement in Japan, according to the findings of the survey.

“Recoveries in the US, eurozone, UK and Japan are looking increasingly sustainable, with companies set to boost their capital spending and hiring at the fastest rates since the financial crisis alongside the brighter outlook,” the Markit report quoted the firm’s chief economist, Chris Williamson, as saying.

Overall, the poll suggested global business optimism had reached a “two-year high,” the report said.

The countries covered by the Global Business Outlook surveys are the United States, Japan, Germany, Britain, France, Italy, Spain, Ireland, Austria, the Netherlands, Greece, the Czech Republic, Poland, Brazil, Russia, India and China. Questioning is done through phone calls, faxing, websites or email, with respondents allowed to select their interview mechanism.

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