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Roundup: Survey shows global business confidence wanes in June

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(GlobalPost/GlobalPost)

LONDON, July 14 (Xinhua) -- Worldwide business optimism has waned compared to the two-year high seen earlier in 2014, said Markit Monday in its Global Business Outlook Survey report.

The number of companies expecting to see their business activity levels rise in the coming year exceeded those expecting a decline by a substantial 39 percent, which was slightly lower than the net balance of 40 percent recorded in the previous survey.

The survey, which is based on responses from a panel of 11,000 companies that participate in the worldwide manufacturing and service sector purchasing managers' index (PMI) survey, is conducted three times a year. The latest one was taken in June.

JP Morgan's global manufacturing and service PMI, however, was 55.4 in June, up from 54.2 in May, data showed earlier this month.

The index averaged 54.1 over the second quarter as whole, the best growth outcome for a calendar quarter since the first quarter of 2011.

The cooling of sentiment was partly reflecting the growing reality of policy being tightened in the United States and Britain, a still weak euro zone recovery and sluggish growth in emerging markets, said the market surveyor.

Global net balance for expected employment and investment in the coming year dropped from 21 percent and 18 percent in February to 16 percent and 12 percent in June, report showed.

Meanwhile, the number of companies expecting their selling prices to rise over the coming year exceeded those expecting a decline by 11 percent, significantly lower than 18 percent four months ago and recording the lowest score since February 2010, data also showed.

Among the economies, however, Britain, though seeing confidence fall from February's record high, saw the highest level of business optimism of all major developed economies in terms of expectation about future activity, employment and investment.

U.S. business expectation regarding activity levels for the year ahead were meanwhile unchanged, compared to earlier in the year. Sentiments diverged between the "core" and "periphery" countries in the euro zone, of which business optimism waned in the core and rose in the periphery.

While BRIC countries, including Brazil, Russia, India and China, as a whole, business optimism fell back to the survey lows seen late last year, said Markit.

Chris Williamson, Chief Economist at Markit, said in the report:" The Outlook Survey suggests the global economy is set for reasonable though unexciting growth over the coming year. It's especially disappointing to see investment and employment intentions falling compared to earlier in the year."

"The overall picture remains one of recoveries being sustained, which is reassuring given the many threats cited by companies in the survey. These include prospects of tighter monetary policy in the U.S. and Britain over the course of the coming year alongside ongoing fiscal restraint, a hesitant euro zone recovery and little sign of growth picking up in emerging markets," said Williamson.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/xinhua-news-agency/140714/roundup-survey-shows-global-business-confidence-wanes-june