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Survey: Auto Executives Less Optimistic About Global Economy

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Feb. 8, 2013—Leading automotive industry executives have become less optimistic about the global economy over the past six months, according to a recent Ernst & Young survey.

Only 22 percent of those surveyed view the global economy as improving versus 58 percent six months ago. A majority of respondents also expect the downturn to persist for more than one year.

Few of the executives polled said they plan to maintain or increase the size of their work forces in the next year; only 22 percent said they were considering doing so, compared with 45 percent last April.

Despite strong new-car sales, only 19 percent of the 188 auto executives surveyed said they expect to pursue an acquisition in the next year. This was the lowest figure in the history of Ernst & Young’s “Capital Confidence Barometer.”

“While credit availability is improving and corporate cash balances remain high, the study is proof that confidence is only slowly rising following a prolonged period of macroeconomic instability,” said Jim Carter, an automotive transaction advisory leader for Ernst & Young, in a statement. “Continuous market volatility, regional issues like the Eurozone crisis and the potential slowing growth in emerging markets has dampened the appetite for deal-making.”

For the full survey, head to the Ernst & Young website.

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