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McKinsey Global Survey: 'Executives' Confidence Is Tenuous'

In its Global Survey of business executives, McKinsey finds that 51 percent say the world's economy is in recovery, while 58 percent say the same for their own countries. Most anticipate rising corporate profits compared to 2009, and 38 percent are planning to hire by the end of 2010.

Although executives might seem bullish, McKinsey's results show that their "confidence is tenuous." Only 55 percent of executives say economic conditions will improve, but 61 percent agreed with that statement last September. Optimism on the current behavior of the economy has noticeably suffered, with 10 percent fewer respondents saying the economy is improved. In North America, that level dropped 16 percent.

The recession has made itself felt with fundamental changes in organizations. Executives say they are more attuned to market changes, have bolstered risk management, and are more aware of costs. More than half of surveyed executives have changed their criteria for investment decisions, typically by heightening due diligence standards.

Overall, most respondents do not anticipate permanent changes in the work force size or geographic location of their companies. For full survey results, visit McKinsey Quarterly.

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