Image by cohdra, via morgeufileWe can see it every week in the business pages of newspapers and magazines. From manufacturing, to private sector service industries, from venture capital investors, and businesses from Asia to Brazil to Europe: Optimism is the new black.

Here are a five signs that optimism is brewing throughout the global economy.

1) Private Company CEOs’ Confidence Returns to Pre-Recession Level in US – Leading to More Jobs

In a new survey, nearly two-thirds (63%) of American private-company executives surveyed say they’re optimistic about the US economy’s prospects over the next 12 months — the highest level of confidence since the second quarter of 2007. Meanwhile, optimism in the global economy also rose, with 56% of private companies that have an international presence expressing their confidence in global economic growth, compared with 43% in the previous quarter, according to PwC US’s Private Company Trendsetter Barometer.

Optimism about the US and global economies carried over to executives’ confidence about their own company growth prospects, with 83% forecasting positive growth — 40% projecting double-digit revenue growth and 43% projecting single-digit growth.

Significantly, the vast majority (74%) of private companies surveyed plan to increase operational spending. Planned increases focus on information technology, new products/services, and sales promotion.  Fifty-seven percent of private companies said they plan to hire new employees over the next 12 months — primarily targeting professionals/technicians (32%) and sales/marketing executives (23%), mirroring those areas in which they plan to increase operational spending.

2) Consumer Confidence Hits Three-Year High on Economic Optimism

Consumer confidence surged in February to its highest level in three years as Americans grew increasing confident that the economy — and their income prospects — will improve in the months ahead. The index of consumer sentiment, which was released Tuesday by the Conference Board, climbed 5.6 points to 70.4 — its highest since February 2008, according to the Daily Finance.

3) Manufacturers More Optimistic

A survey of 400 state manufacturing executives found them optimism about the economy and companies’ prospects for higher sales and profits this year. Among the group of 400 Minnesota businesses, 51 percent of chief executives anticipated expansion of sales in 2011. One-third of the respondents said they plan to boost capital expenditures this year, according to the Star Tribune.

4) Optimism Seems to be Worldwide

Kevin Cox, the Senior Director of Global Marketing Programs & Campaigns at SAP, the largest enterprise software company in the world, has his finger on the pulse of movements in the global economy, according to Traction CEO Adam Kleinberg. At a marketing breakfast last week Cox excitedly told the crowd that it looks like we are on the verge “of not just an end to the recession, but a real turn-around” of the economy. “And, this is what the rest of Silicon Valley is seeing.”

5) Inc. Editor Sees Golden Age Coming

Inc. editor-at-large and author of the book Small Giants, Bo Burlingham, told a Bay Area gathering of entrepreneurs from “Inc. 5000” companies that the VC community is so optimistic right now that many are saying we are entering a “Golden Age” where companies will be able to do more with less and we will be seeing a sustained period of economic recovery. (Read the account at iMedia Connection)

Editor’s Note: This article was written prior to the oil price spike that effected stock markets yesterday in the wake of Libyan unrest.

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