The Young President's Organisation's (YPO) Global Pulse Confidence Index for the continent rated CEOs' optimism at 59.0 for the second quarter. 

This is a five-point decline on the previous quarter and down 1.1 points on the same period in 2012. 

Some 37 per cent of the CEOs surveyed said business conditions have deteriorated over the past six months, although 52 per cent expect the situation to have improved before the year's end.

Terry O’Connor, board member for the YPO's south-east Asia region, claimed this fall has largely been driven by uncertainty about the pace of quantitative easing in the US and the slowing of growth prospects in China.

The only nations to withstand this drop in confidence were Japan and the Asian tiger economies of Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan.

While the decline in CEO optimism is worrying, the rating of 59.0 is still well above the neutral mark of 50.0 and means Asian business leaders are more confident than their counterparts in the EU.

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