Global Covid-19 vaccination drives have renewed hopes for recovery, but businesses remain cautious over outlook.

Verdict has been conducting a poll to study the change in business optimism during COVID-19 as reflected by the views of companies on their future growth prospects amid the pandemic.

Analysis of the poll responses recorded in February shows that optimism regarding future growth prospects remained unchanged from January at 58%.

Business optimism - February

While the percentage of respondents who were optimistic about growth prospects declined by two percentage points from 23% in January to 21% in February 2021, the percentage of respondents who were very optimistic increased from 35% in January to 37% in February 2021.

The percentage of respondents who were pessimistic during February remained unchanged at 10%, while that of the very pessimistic decreased from 16% in January to 15% in February 2021.

Further, the percentage of respondents who were neither optimistic nor pessimistic was 17% during the month. against 16% in January.

The analysis is based on 1,324 responses received from the readers of Verdict network sites between 01 February and 28 February.

COVID-19 vaccination drives boost hope for global recovery

Businesses expressed cautious optimism over recovery as many countries undertake coronavirus vaccination drives. A survey conducted by the Ifo institute in Germany, for example, has revealed that optimism among certain sectors such as manufacturing improved although optimism among other sectors such as tourism, retail and restaurants remained low as infection numbers continued to grow.

Optimism among businesses in the North West part of the UK also improved as businesses cautiously hoped for recovery, according to the Business Barometer from Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking.

Optimism also rose with the passing of the next stimulus package in the US House of Representatives boosting hopes for economic recovery.