- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Despite a global economy buffeted by political and financial uncertainty, small and mid-sized companies from around the world remain bullish and expect to grow more than twice as fast as the global GDP, according to a new survey Tuesday by the consulting firm Ernst & Young.

The EY Global Growth Barometer, which surveyed 2,340 global executives in companies with annual revenues of $1 million to $3 billion, found that about a third of the middle-market companies polled expect to grow 6 to 10 percent this year, at a time when the World Bank forecasts just 3.4 percent global GDP growth overall.

Smaller firms overseas express even more confidence than U.S. companies: About half of all British companies anticipate growth rates of more than 11 percent and one-third of companies in India and China are predicting up to 10 percent growth rate, while U.S. companies foresee a growth increase of just under 5 percent.

The study also states that 89 percent of these middle market leaders say the uncertain outlook actually presents a growth opportunity.

“The global economic backdrop is much stronger than what the prevailing narrative has been telling us,” said Ernst & Young’s Annette Kimmitt, in a statement accompanying the report’s release. “Despite geopolitical risks and uncertainties, businesses being disrupted through new technologies and globalization rewriting the rules of supply and demand, middle-market leaders are not only attuned to uncertainty, but are seizing it to grow, disrupt other markets and drive their growth agendas.”

The report shows that middle market executives believe increasing competition is the single biggest external threat to their growth plans. Geopolitical instability, the cost and availability of credit and slow global growth are also potential challenges cited in the study.

Ernst & Young Global Limited is a multinational professional services firm headquartered in London.

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