Majority of CEOs Are Now Optimistic About Global Economy but Fewer Are Confident in Their Own Company’s Growth
The majority of CEOs across the world are optimistic about the global economic climate, with 57% of those surveyed by PwC expressing a positive outlook in the lead up to the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos.
This is nearly twice as many as the meager 29% who expressed optimism around this time last year, according to the recently released 21st annual “CEO Survey” by the big four auditing and professional services firm.
“With the stock markets booming and GDP predicted to grow in most major markets around the world, it’s no surprise CEOs are so bullish.” – Bob Moritz of PwC.
The change in tenor has been especially pronounced in the United States, where 59% of CEOs are now optimistic compared to just 24% in 2016. In South America, four out of five (80%) Brazilian CEOs now expect the economy to improve.
Bob Moritz, global chairman of PwC, credits the rosy outlook to the strength of economic indicators across the world. “With the stock markets booming and GDP predicted to grow in most major markets around the world, it’s no surprise CEOs are so bullish,” said Moritz.
The optimism is not universal, however. Only a little more than one-third of CEOs in the United Kingdom (36%) and Japan (38%) expecting global improvement.
And even the CEOs in most countries who do see good times ahead for global macroeconomic conditions remain uncertain that they will be able to benefit themselves. Only 42% of CEOs are “very confident” in their own company’s growth prospects over the next year. While this is up from 38% last year, it suggests that corporate leaders still see major challenges in trying to navigate their respective industries.
For its part, though, the United States is a positive-thinking standout in this regard, with more than half (52%) now being very confident that their organization will see growth over the next 12 months compared to just 38% in 2017.
“In the U.S., CEOs’ confidence has recovered,” said PwC in a statement about the findings. “After election nerves last year, the early focus on regulation and tax reform by the new administration has seen confidence in business growth prospects for the year ahead rising significantly.”
But such sentiments are not reflected among CEOs in the United Kingdom. Still concerned with Brexit anxiety, according to PwC, just 34% of British CEOs are very confident in growth compared to 41% at this time last year.
The 21st version of this annual study by PwC surveyed 1,293 CEOs in 85 countries across the globe. The interviews with the CEOS, 75% of which run companies with at least $100 million USD in revenues, were conducted primarily online with some taking place in person or over the phone.
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