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Global Economic Growth Remains Marginal, but Business Confidence is Rising

The First Data on Global Economic Activity Levels - Every Month
The only survey with current month, month-on-month, monthly year-on-year, and forward looking questions

Updated: November 21, 2022

The threat of global recession remains evident in the November Sales Managers Survey data. Three out of four growth related indexes fell, and two out of the group are now in negative territory, below the "no change" 50 mark, reflecting difficult current conditions. Continuing price inflation, the war in Europe, geopolitical uncertainty, and the lingering problems of covid all continue to impact on the three biggest growth drivers of global economic activity (China, the USA and India), albeit in different ways.

Global Business Confidence Index


Source: World Economics
Note: Data Shown as a Diffusion Index. (50 = 'No Change', above 50 = Increasing growth, below 50 = Declining growth)
0 0 0 Global SMI|#0A66C2|59.5, 60.6, 59.3, 55.5, 56.4, 58.9, 57.6, 56.6, 56.5, 55.2, 55.9, 57.3, 57.7, 55.9, 58.6, 59.7, 60.2, 58.5, 58.5, 60, 59.1, 58, 58.3, 59.1, 58.4, 58.3, 53.7, 56, 56.9, 57.7, 58, 56.9, 56.4, 55.3, 56.8, 55.9, 54.9, 55.1, 55.2, 54, 53.2, 47.4, 43.2, 47.5, 49.6, 50.9, 50.4, 51.1, 51.7, 51.8, 52.6, 51.6, 52.7, 52.2, 52.8, 52.6, 53.7, 52.9, 52.6, 52.6, 53.3, 53.3, 53.6, 52.3, 53.5, 50.9, 51.1, 50.4, 50.3, 50.5, 50.9, 51.8, 52 Nov 2016, Dec 2016, Jan 2017, Feb 2017, Mar 2017, Apr 2017, May 2017, Jun 2017, Jul 2017, Aug 2017, Sep 2017, Oct 2017, Nov 2017, Dec 2017, Jan 2018, Feb 2018, Mar 2018, Apr 2018, May 2018, Jun 2018, Jul 2018, Aug 2018, Sep 2018, Oct 2018, Nov 2018, Dec 2018, Jan 2019, Feb 2019, Mar 2019, Apr 2019, May 2019, Jun 2019, Jul 2019, Aug 2019, Sep 2019, Oct 2019, Nov 2019, Dec 2019, Jan 2020, Feb 2020, Mar 2020, Apr 2020, May 2020, Jun 2020, Jul 2020, Aug 2020, Sep 2020, Oct 2020, Nov 2020, Dec 2020, Jan 2021, Feb 2021, Mar 2021, Apr 2021, May 2021, Jun 2021, Jul 2021, Aug 2021, Sep 2021, Oct 2021, Nov 2021, Dec 2021, Jan 2022, Feb 2022, Mar 2022, Apr 2022, May 2022, Jun 2022, Jul 2022, Aug 2022, Sep 2022, Oct 2022, Nov 2022




But one Sales Index - that of Business Confidence that the next few months will bring better conditions - is rising, positive in all three countries, and globally now at a 9 month high. Many economists believe that Business Confidence, or "Animal Spirits" as it is sometimes called, is often a key self-fulfilling factor in generating economic growth. When business people are optimistic in relation to future conditions, they are more likely to invest. So the simultaneous rise of optimism in China, India (a 32 month high), and the USA suggests that many Sales Managers believe that recession can be avoided, and conditions are likely to improve in early 2023





About the Sales Managers Indexes

The Sales Managers' Indexes provide the earliest monthly data on the speed and direction of economic activity in key growth areas of the world.

The SMI’s (Sales Managers’ Indexes) are compiled and analysed by World Economics and are based on survey data collected from a panel of companies stratifying all Industry Classification Board (ICB) sectors which are weighted to reflect their contribution to national Gross Domestic Product.

Key advantages of the SMI's:

  • The SMI's provide the first indication each month of the speed and direction of economic growth.
  • The SMI's provide the most complete indication of growth, covering all private sector activity.
  • The SMI's are based on a key occupational group - sales executives - uniquely able to sense accurate changes in business activity levels.
  • The SMI survey base - salespeople - are used by virtually all businesses, including in frontier markets, unlike other occupational groups.
  • The SMI's focus on the key countries contributing to over 60% of global growth in recent years.






About the Data

Global SMI data is published as diffusion indexes to gauge the speed and direction of economic activity.

Monthly data for 8 years is downloadable in a consistent unadjusted format for the 7 key indexes: