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While there are clear concerns over the health of the global economy, healthy optimism remains among European firms.

According to our survey, European companies believe their respective economies are one the mend and are also optimistic about their countries’ economic prospects in the coming 12 months.

During the last 12 months more businesses think the economy in their country has improved than worsened (61% vs 12%). A quarter (26%) think it hasn’t changed.
Over the next 12 months more than three in four (76%) decision makers are optimistic, while less than one in 10 (9%) are pessimistic. Some 15% expressed a neutral sentiment for economy in the next 12 months.

There is an unsurprising relationship between businesses that expect to perform poorly over the next 12 months and those that are pessimistic about their country’s economy. Among those businesses in Europe that expect to make a loss in the next 12 months, only 31% are optimistic about the economy and 38% are pessimistic.

Likewise, those that think their country’s economy has worsened in the past 12 months are also most pessimistic about the next 12 months - just 19% are optimistic about the future compared with 54% who are pessimistic.

What three things worry you most, if anything, about the economy in the next 12 months of the country you work in?

Hover over the bar chart to reveal the data labels

Concerns about Brexit do not necessarily translate as concerns over the country’s economy. Among those who say Brexit will have a negative impact on their business, more than half (56%) are optimistic about their country’s economy and just one in five (21%) are pessimistic.

For those that have concerns about the economy, the most popular reasons are slow economic growth (33%), burdensome taxes (29%) and Brexit (29%). However, the number of UK-based respondents in the survey pushes the Brexit average up.

In the UK the biggest concern is Brexit (38%) followed by rising inflation (33%). Likewise, in the Republic of Ireland the biggest concern about the economy is Brexit (33%) and rising inflation (32%)

During the last 12 months

61% of businesses think the economy in their country has improved

In Portugal it is the burdensome taxes that are the biggest concern about the economy (44%) followed by slow economic growth (37.5%). In France too, burdensome taxes are the biggest concern about the country’s economy (36%).

Slow economic growth appears a more considerable concern in other countries. In Italy slow economic growth is a particular concern (42%) as are burdensome taxes (38%).

In Spain two in five (41%) businesses are worried about slow economic growth. Meanwhile in Germany, a third of businesses (33%) are concerned about the same issue.

In Denmark there are less worries overall as far as the economy is concerned. Burdensome taxes are the biggest issue - but only for 27.5% of respondents in that country.

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