World’s largest firms remain cautious

The world’s largest companies remain concerned over global economic prospects in the near term despite improvements in sentiment over the past month, according to an international think tank.

In a recent research brief, UK-based Oxford Economics said its Global Risk Survey for the first quarter of the year showed almost half of its respondents expect activity in their businesses to remain below pre-pandemic levels throughout 2021.

The think tank said, “Businesses appear especially cautious about the implications of new, more transmissible forms of coronavirus for the effectiveness of mass vaccinations.”

The first quarter survey was completed by 204 businesses from January 18 up to 29. These include some of the world’s largest companies. Together, all the participating companies employ around six million.

Majority of respondents or 53 percent said they view risks as slightly to the downside or heavily to the downside.

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