Transatlantic Split On Global Economic Prospects

By John S. McClenahen Executives of European-based multinationals are substantially more bearish about global economic prospects for the next 12 months than their U.S. counterparts, according to a just-released PricewaterhouseCoopers survey. In large multinational companies based in Western Europe, 59% of the executives surveyed were optimistic about the next 12 months; only 9% were pessimistic. Among U.S.-based multinationals, only 48% were optimistic and 7% were pessimistic. Executives of U.S.-based multinationals nevertheless seemed to be more bullish on the future of their individual companies' share prices, with 58% expecting stock value to increase during the next 12 months. Just 43% of executives in European-based multinationals foresaw share-price growth. However, these statistics must be tempered by the fact that 34% of the U.S.-based executives surveyed and 45% of those in Western Europe declined to comment or were uncertain about future share prices.

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