This report highlights the latest business confidence survey results capturing an overall psychological snapshot from all company managers in 25 of the world’s richest countries.
Twelve out of the 25 richest countries experienced stronger business confidence scores year over year. Excluding the highly volatile index for Saudi Arabia, business confidence scores for the other 24 nations notched an average -0.7% decline.
Scores reflect collective answers to standardized survey questions that relate directly to the degree of pessimism or optimism that business leaders have regarding upcoming prospects for their company. Questions include queries about production developments, finished product orders and inventory levels, as well as the general economic health of a business.
Business confidence is perceived as a strong driver for future capital investment and employment. These business activities in turn keep an economy growing and therefore help insulate against downturns. Analysts use business confidence results to monitor output expansion or contraction and to forecast slowdowns or improvements in economic activity.
According to The Economist, business confidence is a leading economic indicator that hits a maximum about 8 to 16 months ahead of a peak in a country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) output.
Richest Countries’ Business Confidence Compared
The table below presents business confidence survey results for each among the world’s 25 wealthiest economies. Data is for the date shown and as of 12 months prior, with last column displaying the percentage change between the 2 scores.
Please bear in mind that, despite survey standardization, scores can vary widely from one country to the next due to question translation anomalies and cultural differences.
You can change the presentation order by clicking the triangle icons at the top of each column. Defaulting to the largest economy, the Rank column refers to the relative size of each country in terms of GDP on a Purchasing Power Parity basis.
|2||United States||99.32||Jan 2020||100.5||-1.2%|
|9||United Kingdom||98.73||Jan 2020||101.1||-2.3%|
|14||South Korea||98.48||Jan 2020||98.48||+0.001%|
|17||Saudi Arabia||10||Jan 2020||3||+233.3%|
Posting the most dramatic gains over the latest 12-month period were: Saudi Arabia (up 233.3%), Malaysia (up 12.3%), Philippines (up 7.8%), Thailand (up 7.5%), Turkey (up 4.3%) then Pakistan (up 4.1%).
Business confidence eroded at the fastest pace in India (down -11.3%), Nigeria (down -6.6%), Russia (down -4.1%), United Kingdom (down -2.3%) and Germany (down -1.8%).
Research Reference Materials:
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook, October 2019. Accessed on February 15, 2020
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Business confidence index (BCI). Accessed on February 15, 2020
The Economist, Guide to Economic Indicators: Making Sense of Economics (7th Edition). Accessed on February 15, 2020
theGlobalEconomy.com, Business confidence survey by country: the latest data. Accessed on February 15, 2020
Trading Economics, Economic Indicators by Category. Accessed on February 15, 2020
Wikipedia, Business cycle. Accessed on February 15, 2020