Global business sentiment remains bearish but has improved since January, according to The Economist/FT survey of over 1,500 senior executives, conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit.
The balance of respondents who think the world economy will pick up against those who expect it to worsen rose from minus 28 percentage points to minus 5.
In North America more executives are bullish than bearish for the first time in a year. But in eastern Europe confidence has slumped.
Only 37% of European bosses expect to hire over the next year, compared with more than half elsewhere.
As for the euro, almost a quarter of firms have made contingency plans for a break-up of the currency union.
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