Business confidence around the world is showing signs of being restored following the post-economic crisis low of late last year, according to new research. The latest Markit Global Business Outlook survey, which polled 11,000 firms worldwide, said the number of companies expecting business activity levels to rise in the coming year exceeded those expecting a decline by 39%, up from 30% seen in the last survey, conducted in October. Markit said the upturn in confidence was “universal” across the main developed countries, with Japan and the Eurozone seeing confidence rise the most, compared to late in 2012. Optimism in Japan hit a post 2008/09 crisis high, while an improved business mood was seen in countries such as Italy and Spain – despite the issues facing both countries’ economies. However it was the US, followed by the UK, which saw the highest level of business optimism. Confidence in the UK is being helped by the depreciation of sterling, according to Markit research. Of the large developing markets only China saw an improvement in business mood, Markit said.