Economic Conditions Snapshot, April 2009: international interests and government actions

McKinsey recently published its periodical survey results. They show that strong majorities support international coordination of responses to the crisis and say protectionism would harm their nations’ economies.

Respondents see value in international trade, even in the face of a crisis. Strong majorities of executives in all regions believe regulations to restrict imports and exports would damage their countries’ economies; the global average is 73%. Far fewer, only 37%, see harm to their companies’ financial positions from such regulations, while only 4% say they think trade restrictions would improve their companies’ financial positions.

Executives at manufacturers and high-tech and telecom companies are the likeliest to see harm to their companies from protectionist regulation, at 51% and 44%, respectively.

Further, executives see value in maintaining international ties in response to the crisis: 70% say that governments should coordinate it with their trading partners or other relevant countries.

Executives’ enthusiasm for governments bolstering industries through the crisis is cooling. Though most respondents still think governments should support at least some industries through the crisis, a fifth now say no industries should receive government support — a significant increase from the 14% who said the same in January in response to a similar question.

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