According to The State of Global Trade 2012 report published by Panjiva, a worldwide trade intelligence monitor, and the Global Sourcing Council, a non-profit organisation specialising in supply chain issues, global trade professionals are cautiously optimistic about the economic outlook in 2012.

Half of the 250 respondents to the survey said that the global economy is on track for a recovery, and nearly 75% stated that they are willing to spend either the same amount or more than they did in 2011. However, the report showed that representatives of large companies – those with revenues of more than $100m – remain more negative than those from small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). While only 14% of respondents from SMEs expect economic conditions to deteriorate in 2012, 30% from large businesses expect a worsening of the economic climate.

A large number of global trade executives surveyed displayed a willingness to implement changes in their supply chains in 2012. According to the report findings, 68% of international buyers said that sourcing supplies from outside of China has become more important than it was a year earlier. This could be a good opportunity for China’s neighbours, as over half of respondents cited other Asian countries as potential sites for sourcing.

A change in sourcing destination could also benefit the US. One in four trade executives cited the country as a possible sourcing alternative to China, while 63% of suppliers claimed that the US will be the most likely site for their new business ventures. Europe and China were stated as the most likely sites for new business ventures by 56% and 41% of suppliers, respectively.