The global economy shows no signs of improvement according to 80 per cent of power and utility executives polled in new research.
And 67 per cent are downbeat on a swift recovery, believing that the downturn is going to last for more than another year.
The figures are revealed in The Global Capital Confidence Barometer, which is carried out every six months by consultants Ernst & Young.
Fifty-seven per cent of power and utility respondents expect the slowdown to persist for another one to two years, while 10 per cent predict it will last more than two years.
Just 33 per cent power and utility executives in the European Union’s 27 Member States believe the global economy is improving, down from nearly 70 per cent six months ago.
Among US respondents, 22 per cent predict the downturn will extend beyond two years.
In Latin America, the percentage of executives who feel the global economy is improving fell to 16 per cent from 65 per cent six months ago. However, the same executives are much more upbeat about their local economy, with 95 per cent citing an improving or stable outlook.
In the Asia-Pacific, just 8 per cent of executives believed the global economy is improving, compared with 51 per cent six months ago.
The top five investment destinations saw significant change in the six months from April 2012 to October. April’s top five were, in descending order: China, the US, Brazil, Singapore and Hong Kong. In October the US has leapfrogged China, Brazil remained at third, and India came in at number four and Chile fifth.
“Chile reflects the broader trend around Latin America in terms of upside economic growth in the region and renewable energy opportunities, while we believe infrastructure plays drove the positive result for India,” said Ernst & Young.