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Canadian execs “the most pessimistic” about their economy, despite improvement

August 6, 2020 | By Anthony Capkun

August 6, 2020 – A surge in COVID-19 cases in the States leaves North American executives the most pessimistic in the world about the global economy, according to The Economist Intelligence Unit’s 3rd Global Business Barometer, released today.

Overall executive sentiment about the three-month outlook for the global economy rose to -16.8 from -27.7 in May (out of a range of -50 to +50), showing that, as of late June, a U-shaped economic recovery remains possible.

Sentiment about the global and regional economies in North America barely budged from the previous barometer, rising by +1.5 and +0.2 points, making that region the most pessimistic on both accounts.

And executives in Canada are the most pessimistic about their regional economy as compared to their counterparts. At -27.5, their regional outlook remains in the Much Worse category, despite an improvement of 8.5 points.


The readings were slightly more encouraging for outlook on regional economies (moving from -34.4 in May to -24.0 in June) and country-level economic outlook (moving from -32.2 in May to -25.5 in June) compared with May, but North America is nevertheless the most pessimistic region in both areas, the report finds.

Only 8.1% of respondents in the June GBB survey Strongly Agree that their country is ready to open, and only 6.7% Strongly Agree that their company is ready to return to operating as it had done before the pandemic.

Before barometer scores can improve, the writers believe more leaders and policymakers around the world will need to demonstrate they can be more effective in containing the virus.

The Economist Intelligence Unit, supported by SAS, launched the Global Business Barometer in April 2020. The research tracks a regional 3-month outlook from executives across a range of industries. This latest update gives the reading through June 2020, once again asking respondents about a variety of issues, ranging from expectations on the global economy, investment plans, risk management strategies, etc.

CHECK OUT the barometer here, where you can explore the findings, broken down by global regions, countries and industries.

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