Optimism about the nation’s economic outlook among U.S. business leaders rose in the second quarter of the year, according to the Grant Thornton International Business Report.
However, with the Greek bailout plan still in the works, optimism among Greek business leaders plummeted to its lowest level since the fourth quarter of 2012.
Grant Thornton found that optimism about the economic outlook among U.S. business leaders rose 11 percentage points to net 54 percent. Meanwhile, confidence in the European Union increased to net 58 percent, a 20 percentage-point increase from last quarter, and well above pre-crisis highs.
While optimism was up in the European Union, confidence among Greek business leaders plummeted to net -38 percent, down 44 percentage points from last quarter.
In the United States, companies’ plans to invest in research and development dropped 5 percentage points to net 32 percent, following a stagnant six-month period at net 37 percent.
“With optimism among U.S. business leaders on the rise, and so many other large economies reporting increased confidence, the global economy seems to be headed in the right direction,” said Grant Thornton LLP senior vice chair Stephen Chipman in a statement. “Less encouraging, however, is that, though business confidence seems to have recovered, business leaders around the world are still seemingly hesitant to make long-term investment decisions.”