Global business confidence picked up a little in the second quarter, having hit a four-year low in the first quarter. The number of firms that said their prospects have deteriorated over the past three months fell to 43% in Q2, from 48% in Q1.
Declining income remained the biggest concern of businesses in Q2.
The improvement in global business confidence was driven by non-OECD economies. Concerns about a near-term collapse in China’s growth have subsided and the associated rise in commodity prices has taken some of the strain off commodity-producing economies.
By contrast, business confidence in OECD economies dipped again in Q2, and the UK’s referendum on leaving the EU was a key factor (survey was conducted before the UK voted on 23 June to leave the EU). UK business confidence in Q2 was at its lowest in over four years, and the uncertainty appears to have weighed on the rest of Western Europe as well.