Business Confidence On Knife Edge

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    Global business confidence is balancing on a knife edge heading into 2012, says a report from Grant Thornton International. The fourth quarter results of the ‘International Business Report (IBR)’ shows the global economic outlook is still dominated by the crisis in the eurozone and fears are increasing that business growth will become even more difficult than in 2011. Global business optimism in the fourth quarter of 2011 stands at net zero per cent, indicating a balance between those business leaders feeling optimistic about their economies in 2012 and those feeling pessimistic. It represents a further deterioration from three per cent in the third quarter of 2011 and 31 per cent in the second quarter. Canada, which stood out in the third quarter by posting net business optimism of 60 per cent, saw this fall to 46 per cent in the fourth quarter. Though not immune from the global slowdown, Canada is still significantly above the global average and, alongside Germany, is the most optimistic mature economy.