Fund managers are more optimistic about future equity returns but continue to be negative on world growth and medium-term government bonds, according to a new global survey of investment managers by Towers Watson.

The Global Survey of Investment and Economic Expectations also highlights the most important issues investment managers expect to face in 2013: government intervention, global economic imbalances and sovereign debt defaults, with inflation being a significant concern in the next five years.

"During the last quarter of 2012, when this survey was held, the move back to policy easing and consequent improvement in global financial conditions improved growth prospects, with the U.S. and China responding the most," says Matt Stroud, head of strategy and portfolio construction at Towers Watson. "In the United States, growth is now well above its trend because financial conditions are very easy, and those sectors that respond most to low interest rates have improved balance sheets.

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