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Market
Business Confidence, Expectations Improve
WEST CHESTER, Pa. (12/10/13)--A measure of worldwide business confidence was at a post-recession high for the week ending Dec. 6.
 
Firms in the U.S. had even higher morale, with the week's Business Confidence poll showing 39% with a net-positive outlook, said a survey conducted by Moody's Analytics. Moody's also showed the percentage of businesses with a net-positive view on the economy was up to 37.2, from 33.7 for the week ending Nov. 29 (Economy.com Dec. 9).

A major factor behind the survey's result was the 70% of respondents who said they believe economic conditions will improve in the coming months. With a spate of good economic news, businesses are reporting an increasingly rosy outlook. Many of those who took the survey said they're planning to invest in equipment and software, despite recently published data revealing relatively weak business capital expenditures, said Economy.com.
 
The measure of business climate has not been this positive since the housing boom in the middle of last decade, with around 45% of survey questions receiving positive answers last week.
 
The four-week moving average of the Moody's measure was also up for the fifth week in a row, at 32.9%. The same measure for U.S. business confidence finished the week ending Dec. 6 at 35%.
 
Businesses reported regulatory and legal issues as being among their top concern, with one-third of respondents listing it as their top worry.
 
Moody's claims that an economy expands at potential when its business confidence measure is at a net-positive of between 20% and 30%, and that an economy is in recession when less than 10% of responses are net-positive. The all-time low was at -30% in December 2008, and the last high was just more than 40% in March 2011.


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