BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Harvard Business Review (HBR) has released its annual survey of CEOs and other global business leaders today, showing worldwide that 56% surveyed say they are “more optimistic” about Washington’s ability to lead now that the election is over. Interestingly, much of that hope comes from outside of the U.S. with more than two-thirds of European business leaders stating that they are now more hopeful. In the U.S., a bit less than half of the respondents (45%) feel that way.
“I think there’s relief that the election is over, and genuine hope, particularly overseas, that Washington will do the right thing and reach an agreement on taxes and spending that can help propel the global economy,” says Adi Ignatius, editor in chief of the Harvard Business Review Group.
The HBR survey, released today, also reveals the high expectations business leaders have for China’s economy, despite its own recent troubles. In fact, many expect China will supplant the U.S. as the global economic leader in ten years.
The business executives overwhelmingly agreed that the U.S. is the current global economic leader (60% of respondents said the U.S. is number one, compared with just 31% who picked China). But when asked who will be dominant in 10 years, nearly half (46%) picked China, while just 25% thought the U.S. would retain that position.
The study revealed that in one key area, innovation, the U.S. remains peerless. Half of all respondents (49%) identified the U.S. as the world’s most innovative economy. China was the runner-up, named by just 9%.
In the short term, there is still considerable concern about the state of the global economy. Almost two-thirds of the business leaders (65%) say that further global decline is likely in the coming months. Most respondents generally expect things to be a bit better next year, though about half (49%) think global growth next year will be less than 2%.
The primary danger zone is Europe. The HBR survey asked business leaders to name their biggest area for concern. A whopping 84% said it’s the Eurozone. Three-quarters of respondents said they expect growth in Europe this year to be 1.5% or less.
When asked about their own companies, however, business leaders seemed more optimistic. A full 60% of respondents say they are confident their companies will reach their revenue goals this year. And many seem ready to hire: more than a third (35%) expect to increase staffing levels in 2013, while only 16% expect their staff to decline.
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