As the global financial and business elite gather in Davos for their annual forum, 53 per cent of respondents to the Bloomberg Global Poll also said that equities will offer the highest return in the next year. That is a 17 percentage point jump from the last poll in November and the most since the quarterly survey of investors, analysts and traders who subscribe to Bloomberg began in July 2009.
Behind the enthusiasm for shares: growing confidence in the US economy and ebbing concerns about Europe. America is in its best shape in two years, according to the poll, with a majority of the 921 surveyed on Jan 17 describing the economy as improving. In a sign that the euro area's three-year debt crisis is easing, only 45 per cent said that the region's economy is still deteriorating, down from seven in 10 two months ago.
"There does appear to be some cautious optimism that things are slowly being resolved," Ben Kelly, an equity analyst at Louis Capital Markets in London and a poll participant, said. "There are some positive shoots that people are grabbing on to."