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Global biz climate brightens

Hardy GraupnerFebruary 13, 2014

Germany's economic research institute Ifo has reported a brightening of the global business climate in its latest quarterly survey. It said the strongest impetus was currently coming from North America.

Ford plant in Michigan, USA
Image: Getty Images

The Ifo's World Economic Climate Survey for the first quarter of the current year showed global business sentiment at its highest level in three years, with the benchmark barometer climbing by another 4.6 points to 103.2 points.

The research institute said Thursday its calculations were once again based on a poll of 1,100 market experts from 121 nations around the globe.

Ifo said the most positive signals emanated from North America and particularly from the United States where there was a significant rise in both respondents' assessments of their current situation and their expectations for the next six months.

Emerging economies worse off

While the economic climate also improved in Europe, including the 18-member euro area, there were only few indications of a pickup in Asia, the think tank claimed.

Bright spot

Ifo President Hans-Werner Sinn said experts worldwide expected an increase in long-term interest rates in their home countries in response to the Fed's tightening of US monetary policy, also known as tapering.

"The dampening effect on the economy, however, is expected to be limited," Sinn commented. Eurozone nations in particular were not fearing any major impact on short-term capital flows from abroad, the euro-dollar exchange rate and GDP growth.

The pundits surveyed in emerging economies, though, predicted their domestic currencies to devalue further, coupled with a decrease in foreign capital flows.