Pessimism grows and turns negative on profits

Economic confidence by fund managers has hit record lows this month, with some even ready for a full-blown recession.

Economic optimism continues to slip to record lows this month, according to a monthly survey of fund managers, conducted by Gallop for Merrill Lynch. Latest figures show that only 4% of Asian fund managers expect a stronger Pacific economy, a drop from Novembers 11% and the lowest since the survey began. This is mirrored by the 4% who expect a stronger global economy. In contrast, although optimism about the Chinese economy also fell from 74% to 52%, it remains significantly stronger than those figures for the rest of the region.

In keeping with the negative trend, fund managers generally think the outlook for Asian corporate profits is unfavourable for the first time since...

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