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Global Experts Poll: Economic Confidence Highest in Four Quarters

Samantha Tonkin, Communications, Risk Response Network, +41 (0)79 615 1640,

  • Confidence in the state of the global economy over the coming 12 months climbs to its highest level in four quarters
  • Fear of a major economic disruption decreased this quarter, from 63% in the previous quarter to 46%
  • Fourth quarterly Global Confidence Index polled 273 experts from business, government, international organizations and academia who are Members of the Forum’s Network of Global Agenda Councils
  • Access the full analysis and results online at

Geneva, Switzerland, 12 April 2012 – Confidence in the state of the global economy has reached its highest level since the World Economic Forum began its Global Confidence Index four quarters ago. One third of global experts from business, government and civil society say they are confident or very confident in the state of the economy over the coming 12 months, up from 13% of respondents in the previous quarter.

“This quarter’s survey results do not signal a ‘cautious optimism’ returning, but merely caution as the global economy remains fragile. The perception that a significant geopolitical shock is possible in the next 12 months is a clear signal in this regard, given the interplay of global economics and geopolitics,” said Lee Howell, Managing Director at the World Economic Forum, responsible for the Forum’s Global Risks 2012 report.

One third of the 273 respondents were not or not at all confident in the state of the global economy (down from 61%), with the remaining third taking a neutral stance.

Fear of a major economic disruption also decreased this quarter. The number of respondents worried about this dropped from 63% in the previous quarter to 46%.

However, the perceived likelihood of a major geopolitical disruption remains high: 57% of respondents still think it is likely or very likely in the next 12 months, while only 15% are not worried about it. Business is especially concerned, with 65% saying a geopolitical disruption is likely or very likely, compared with only 39% of respondents from government.

Confidence in the ability of political leadership to deal with geopolitical tensions increased, with two related indices moving to more neutral levels. The percentage of respondents who expressed confidence in the state of global governance increased from 15% to 21%, while that for global cooperation went from 23% to 30%.

The Global Confidence Index – a joint initiative of the World Economic Forum’s Risk Response Network and Global Agenda Councils – is the only research initiative of its kind, targeting such a large group of international experts who focus on monitoring key trends, identifying global risks and mapping their interlinkages. Respondents to the quarterly survey are Members of the World Economic Forum’s Network of Global Agenda Councils, which includes policy-makers, business leaders and academics.

The next Global Confidence Index results will be available on 2 August 2012.

Notes to Editors
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For more information about the Network of Global Agenda Councils, visit
For more information about the results, visit
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The World Economic Forum is an international institution committed to improving the state of the world through public-private cooperation in the spirit of global citizenship. It engages with business, political, academic and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas.

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