Cautious optimism feeds business confidence, ICC Secretary General tells CNBC
Speaking live on CNBC’s Worldwide Exchange programme this morning, ICC Secretary General Jean-Guy Carrier said that the cautious optimism signalled by experts responding to the latest ICC-Ifo world economic survey was a good harbinger of developments for 2013 and held the promise of leading to investment-led growth.
The survey findings, released today, revealed
climate index improvements for the first quarter of 2013, following two
consecutive years of decline.
“The lack of confidence that business has
been feeling over the last couple of years has been one of the dampeners of the
world economy,” said Mr Carrier. “One has to be extremely cautious but the
optimism we are seeing emerge is something very welcome.”
Mr Carrier told CNBC anchor Ross Westgate
that many businesses had been sitting on their investment and expansion plans
because risk and volatility in the world economy had been too great.
Recent assurance from the EU that it would
do whatever necessary to save the euro and the possibilities for more open
trade between the EU and the US were among the factors Mr Carrier said were contributing
to the sudden regain of confidence.
Stating that over the past 12 months there
had been little evidence from governments that they would put into place,
collectively or individually, measures which would permit improvements Mr
Carrier said “There are now some very positive accelerators of confidence and therefore
of business activity.”
According to Mr Carrier the spark of
renewed investor confidence was evident even in countries who had experienced
dire difficulties, like Spain. “They are tackling their circumstances, becoming
a little more competitive and getting companies ready to invest.”
“All of this feeds the mood of confidence
in business and is what is going to make it possible for business to envisage
putting in place its investment plans,” Mr Carrier concluded.
The quarterly ICC-Ifo World Economic Survey
polls over 1,100 economic experts, from business and academic institutions in
over 115 countries, to assess current and expected economic developments in
their respective regions.
Read more about the findings from the February ICC-Ifo World Economic Survey.
View Jean-Guy Carrier on CNBC’s Worldwide Exchange.