2003: British business brimming with confidence

British business leaders are extremely confident about what the new year will bring, however it is Spain that is expecting the strongest growth overall

Business leaders in the UK are the most optimistic in Europe, however, out of a cross-section of European captains of industry Spain expects to prosper most over the next 12 months.

According to the twelfth UPS Europe Business Monitor survey, which polled 1,452 director-level business leaders across Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and the UK, 58 percent of UK honchos think their economic position will get better next year.

The survey also shows British bosses were top of those thinking their economic situation had improved over the past year. The findings across the continent showed a split -- 38 percent felt their situation to be the same as a year ago, with the rest almost equally divided between those considering business either better or worse.

When asked which economy will exhibit the strongest growth over the next year, those polled put Spain first, ahead of the UK in second and France in third. However, UK leaders were more confident in their home market -- half predict the UK will head the table over the next three years.

The downside to the generally upbeat survey is that most business leaders across all of Europe as well as solely within the UK think there will be job cuts over the next 12 months.

Overall business confidence, however, is up when compared to last year's survey.

For a round-up of the latest tech business coverage, see the Business News Section.

Have your say instantly, and see what others have said. Go to the ZDNet news forum.

Let the editors know what you think in the Mailroom.