ICC-Ifo Survey: Global Economic Climate at Four-Year High

More than three-quarters of the economists surveyed agreed that currency wars are a signal of looming protectionist measures.
More than three-quarters of the economists surveyed agreed that currency wars are a signal of looming protectionist measures.

A key world economic confidence measure has reached its highest level since 2007, indicating that economic activity overall is picking up.  This according to the quarterly World Economic Survey, from USCIB affiliate the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and the Munich-based Ifo Institute for Economic Research.

The world economic climate indicator rose significantly, after a slight decline in the fourth quarter of 2010, and is now above its long-term average. It rose based on assessments from 1,117 experts in 119 countries who responded to the survey questions on both the current situation, as well as the six-month outlook.

Growth was more broadly distributed in the first quarter of 2011 than in the previous year, according to the survey, while protectionism emerged as a growing concern for experts in light of the threat of currency wars.

“These results are very promising because they point to the type of wide-reaching growth that in the long run leads to sustainable development,” according to ICC Secretary General Jean-Guy Carrier. “However, the threat of greater protectionism worldwide is worrying and remains a very real threat to blocking this growth.”

The indicator reached 106.8, measuring significantly above its long-term average of 96.9, calculated between 1991 and 2010. The global economic outlook was less fuelled by the BRIC countries − Brazil, Russia, India and China, where forecasts are now more moderate − and to a larger extent by encouraging signs from North America.

In the United States, exports, capital expenditures and private consumption were expected to grow, according to the survey’s respondents. These results indicate that the recovery in the U.S. is gaining momentum and that a so-called “double-dip”, or renewed economic downturn, is not likely.

Click here for the full press release on the ICC-Ifo survey and accompanying charts.

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Kira Yevtukhova manages USCIB’s print and online publications, including the website, e-newsletter and quarterly magazine, and serves as the organization’s digital media strategist. Prior to this role, Kira worked for over five years within USCIB’s Policy Department, focusing on climate change, environment, nutrition, health, and chemicals related policy issues. She is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College and is currently pursuing an MBA at Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business.
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