CEO optimism booms despite increasing anxiety over threats to growth
· Optimism in global economic growth reaches record level and rises in all countries
· US reinforces its lead on China as a target market for growth in 2018
· Over half of CEOs expect their headcount to increase
· Terrorism, geopolitical uncertainty, cyber and climate change rise as threats to growth
DAVOS, Switzerland, Jan. 22, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- A record-breaking share of CEOs are optimistic about the economic environment worldwide, at least in the short term. That's one of the key findings of PwC's 21st survey of almost 1,300 CEOs around the world, launched today at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos.
Fifty seven percent of business leaders say they believe global economic growth will improve in the next 12 months. It's almost twice the level of last year (29%) and the largest ever increase since PwC began asking about global growth in 2012.
Optimism in global growth has more than doubled in the US (59%) after a period of uncertainty surrounding the election (2017: 24%). Brazil also saw a large increase in the share of CEOs who are optimistic global growth will improve (+38% to 80%). And even among the less optimistic countries such as Japan (2018: 38% vs. 2017: 11%) and the UK (2018: 36% vs. 2017: 17%), optimism in global growth has more than doubled since last year.
"CEOs' optimism in the global economy is driven by the economic indicators being so strong. 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," comments Bob Moritz, Global Chairman, PwC.
Confidence in short-term revenue growth on the rise
This optimism in the economy is feeding into CEOs' confidence about their own companies' outlook, even if the uptick is not so large. 42% percent of CEOs said they are "very confident" in their own organisation's growth prospects over the next 12 months, up from 38% last year.
Looking at the results by country, it's a mixed bag. CEOs' outlook improved in several key markets including in Australia (up 4% to 46%) and China (up 4% to 40%), where the share of CEOs saying they are "very confident" in their own organisation's 12-month growth prospects rose.
In the US, CEOs' confidence has recovered. 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 - from 39% in 2017 to 52% in 2018. And North America is the only region where a majority of CEOs are "very confident" about their own 12-month prospects.
In the UK, with Brexit negotiations only recently reaching a significant milestone, business leaders' drop in short-term confidence is unsurprising (2018: 34% vs. 2017: 41%).
The top three most confident sectors for their own 12-month prospects this year are Technology (48% "very confident"), Business Services (46%) and Pharmaceutical and Life Sciences (46%) - all exceeding the global "very confident" level of 42%.
Strategies for growth remain largely unchanged on last year's survey - CEOs will rely on organic growth (79%), cost reduction (62%), strategic alliances (49%) and M&As (42%). There was a small increase in interest in partnering with entrepreneurs and start-ups (33% vs 28% last year).
Top countries for growth: Confidence in US continues, reinforcing lead on China
CEO confidence in the US market extends overseas, with non-US based CEOs once again voting it the top market for growth in the next 12 months. This year, the US reinforces its lead on China (46% US vs 33% China, with the US lead over China up 2% compared with 2017).
Germany (20%) remains in third place, followed by the UK (15%) in fourth place, while India bumps Japan as the fifth most attractive market in 2018.
"Even with high levels of global growth confidence, business leaders want and need safe harbours for investment to secure short-term growth," comments Bob Moritz, Global Chairman, PwC. "Access to consumers, skills, finance and a supportive regulatory environment are reinforcing leading markets' positions, for business leaders to achieve their short-term growth targets."
Jobs and digital skills: headcounts to increase; leaders concerned about availability of digital talent
Confidence in short-term revenue growth is feeding into jobs growth, with 54% of CEOs planning to increase their headcount in 2018 (2017: 52%). Only 18% of CEOs expect to reduce their headcount.
Healthcare (71%), Technology (70%), Business Services (67%) Communications (60%) and Hospitality and Leisure (59%) are amongst the sectors with the highest demand for new recruits.
On digital skills specifically, over a quarter (28%) of CEOs are extremely concerned about their availability within the country they are based, rising to 49% extremely concerned in South Africa, 51% in China and 59% in Brazil.
Overall, 22% of CEOs are extremely concerned about the availability of key digital skills in the workforce, 27% in their industry and 23% at the leadership level.
Investments in modern working environments, learning and development programmes and partnering with other providers are the top strategies to help them attract and develop the digital talent they need.
Impact of technology on employment and skills
While recent research by PwC showed that workers were optimistic about technology improving their job prospects, CEOs admit that helping employees retrain, and increasing transparency on how automation and AI could impact jobs is becoming a more important issue for them.
Two thirds of CEOs believe they have a responsibility to retrain employees whose roles are replaced by technology, chiefly amongst the Engineering & Construction (73%), Technology (71%) and Communications (77%) sectors. 61% of CEOs build trust with their workforce by creating transparency, at least to some extent, on how automation and AI impact their employees.
Bob Moritz, Global Chairman, PwC, comments:
"Our education systems need to arm a global workforce with the right skills to succeed. Governments, communities, and businesses need to truly partner to match talent with opportunity, and that means pioneering new approaches to educating students and training workers in the fields that will matter in a technology-enabled job market. It also means encouraging and creating opportunities for the workforce to retrain and learn new skills throughout their careers. As the interest in apprenticeships and internships shows, lifelong training relevant to a business or industry is critical."
The digital and automation transition is particularly acute in the Financial Services sector. Almost a quarter (24%) of Banking & Capital Markets and Insurance CEOs plan workforce reductions, with 28% of Banking & Capital Markets jobs likely to be lost to a large extent due to technology and automation.
Threats to growth: CEOs fear wider societal threats they can't control
Despite the optimism in the global economy, anxiety is rising on a much broader range of business, social and economic threats. CEOs are 'extremely concerned' about geopolitical uncertainty (40%), cyber threats (40%), terrorism (41%), availability of key skills (38%) and populism (35%). These threats outpace familiar concerns about business growth prospects such as exchange rate volatility (29%) and changing consumer behaviour (26%).
Underlining the shift, extreme concern about terrorism doubled (2018: 41% vs 2017: 20%) and terrorism enters the top 10 threats to growth. The threat of over-regulation remains the top concern for CEOs (42% extremely concerned), and over a third (36%) remain concerned about an increasing tax burden.
Key skills availability is the top concern for CEOs in China (2018: 64% extremely concerned vs. 2017: 52%). In the US (63%) and the UK (39%), cyber has become the top threat for CEOs displacing over-regulation. And in Germany, cyber jumped from being the fifth threat in 2017 to third place (28%) this year.
A year after the Paris Agreement was signed by over 190 nations, which saw countries commit to voluntary action on climate change and low carbon investment, CEOs' concern about the threat of climate change and environmental damage to growth prospects has now doubled to 31% of CEOs (2017: 15%).
High-profile extreme weather events and the US withdrawal from the Paris Agreement have significantly raised the profile of business action on climate risk, regulation and resilience. In China, over half (54%) of business leaders are extremely concerned about climate change and environmental damage as a threat to business growth, equal with their levels of concern about geopolitical uncertainty and protectionism.
"The higher level of concern is being driven by larger societal and geopolitical shifts rather than the dynamics of business leaders' own markets," comments Bob Moritz, Global Chairman, PwC. "It's clear their mid to long-term confidence in revenue growth is tempered by threats the business world is not used to tackling directly itself."
Trust and leadership: CEOs divided over whether future economic growth will benefit the many or the few
Echoing the theme of the World Economic Forum this year, CEOs acknowledge that we live in a fractured world. They are divided over whether future economic growth will benefit the many or the few. They see the world moving towards new, multifaceted metrics to measure future prosperity.
Bob Moritz, Chairman, PwC comments:
"The higher levels of CEO concern about broader societal threats underlines how companies are navigating an increasingly fractured world. CEOs across every region and country that we spoke to recognise that the old ways of measuring growth and profit won't work alone for the future. Particularly in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals, we're likely to see more work developing and defining metrics that capture and communicate an organisation's purpose in a way that is relevant to businesses' stakeholders in the coming years."
Examining the key challenges to trust for businesses, CEOs admit that delivering results in shorter periods of time (60%) is the main challenge. However, following this, there is a significant shift with the majority reporting higher levels of pressure to hold individual leaders to account (59%), including for misconduct. Over a third report more pressure from employees and customers to take political and social stances (38%) in public.
In the Banking and Capital Market (65%), Healthcare (65%) and Technology sectors (59%), the profile of leadership accountability was higher than average. So too were expectations in the US (70%), Brazil (67%), and the UK (63%). High-profile debates on diversity, immigration, social inclusion and pay equity have raised employees' expectations of leadership to engage in political and social issues, particularly in the US (51%), China (41%) and the UK (38%).
Download the report at www.pwc.com/ceosurvey .
1. PwC conducted 1,293 interviews with CEOs in 85 countries between August and November 2017. Our sample is weighted by national GDP to ensure that CEOs' views are fairly represented across all major countries. 11% of the interviews were conducted by telephone, 77% online, and 12% by post or face-to-face. All quantitative interviews were conducted on a confidential basis. 40% of companies had revenues of $1 billion or more: 35% of companies had revenues between $100 million and $1 billion; 20% of companies had revenues of up to $100 million; 56% of companies were privately owned.
2. Climate Change: Climate Change and environmental damage is reported in the top five threats for businesses in Asia Pacific, and Western Europe and recognised as a top five threat for the growth prospects of companies in the Energy and Utilities, Engineering and Construction, Transport and Logistics sectors.
3. Globalisation: When asked if globalisation has helped 'close the gap between the rich and the poor', nearly 40% of CEOs respond "not at all'. 30% said globalisation had not helped 'avert climate change and resource scarcity'. More than one in four CEOs say that globalisation has not helped improve the 'integrity and effectiveness of global tax systems' at all.
4. Trust: 71% of CEOs are now measuring trust between their workforce and leadership: 74% between their organisation and its customers. Action on cyber security, diversity and inclusion and increased transparency on business strategies and plans were amongst the key areas of focus.
5. While only 18% of CEOs expect to reduce their headcount, CEOs estimate that four out of five (80%) of those jobs affected will have been impacted in some way by technology - 52% to some extent and 28% to a large extent.
6. PwC's Global Innovation 1000 Study this year found that 52% of respondents believe economic nationalism will have a moderate or significant impact on their company's R&D efforts, replacing today's integrated and interdependent network with isolated R&D nodes.
At PwC, our purpose is to build trust in society and solve important problems. We're a network of firms in 158 countries with more than 236,000 people who are committed to delivering quality in assurance, advisory and tax services. Find out more and tell us what matters to you by visiting us at www.pwc.com.
PwC refers to the PwC network and/or one or more of its member firms, each of which is a separate legal entity. Please see www.pwc.com/structure for further details.
© 2018 PwC. All rights reserved
Mike Davies (in Davos), PwC
Mobile: +44 7803 974 136
The issuer of this announcement warrants that they are solely responsible for the content, accuracy and originality of the information contained therein.
Source: PwC via Globenewswire
Följ NASDAQ OMX
Abonnera på våra pressmeddelanden.
Senaste pressmeddelandena från NASDAQ OMX
LeoVegas applies for gambling licence in Sweden20.8.2018 12:05 | Pressmeddelande
On January 1, 2019, Sweden becomes a licensed gaming market and LeoVegas has now submitted its application to obtain a licence for casino and sports betting. This is in line with LeoVegas' expansion strategy and is one of the steps towards achieving the financial targets for the year 2020, which are to reach at least EUR 600 m in revenue and EBITDA of at least EUR 100 m. "While it has been known for some time that Sweden is introducing a local licence system, it is very exciting to formally submit an application and is something we have been looking forward to for a long time. Sweden's becoming a locally regulated market is a milestone for Sweden, the industry and LeoVegas. Now, for the first time, everyone can compete on equal terms in a regulated environment, where responsible gaming is a very important part. We believe we have great opportunities to continue gaining market shares in the Swedish market. LeoVegas is a company that operates on several regulated markets and thus has the
LeoVegas ansöker om spellicens i Sverige20.8.2018 12:05 | Pressmeddelande
Den 1:a Januari 2019 blir Sverige en licensierad spelmarknad och LeoVegas har nu lämnat in sin licensansökan för casino och sportspel. Detta ligger i linje med LeoVegas expansionsstrategi och är ett av stegen för att uppnå de finansiella målen år 2020 om minst 600 MEUR i intäkter och minst 100 MEUR i EBITDA. "Att Sverige inför ett lokalt licenssystem har varit känt en längre tid men att formellt lämna in ansökan känns oerhört bra och någonting vi sett fram emot länge. Att Sverige äntligen blir en reglerad marknad är en milstolpe för Sverige, branschen och LeoVegas. Nu kan alla för första gången konkurrera på lika villkor i en reglerad miljö, där ansvarsfullt spelande är en väldigt viktig del. Vi anser oss ha stora möjligheter att fortsätta ta marknadsandelar på den svenska marknaden. LeoVegas är ett bolag som opererar på flera reglerade marknader och har därmed de rätta verktygen och kunskapen för att skapa en hållbar och stark tillväxt.", säger Gustaf Hagman, Group CEO. Reglerade mark
Stillfront Group AB: Stillfront Group rekryterar IR- och kommunikationschef20.8.2018 08:30 | Pressmeddelande
PRESSMEDDELANDE 2018-08-20 Stillfront Group rekryterar IR- och kommunikationschef Sofia Wretman har utsetts till IR- och kommunikationschef för Stillfront Group och kommer att ingå i koncernledningen. Befattningen är ny och omfattar intern och extern kommunikation samt investor relations. Sofia Wretman har mer än 15 års erfarenhet av att arbeta strategiskt med kommunikations- och IR-frågor inom olika branscher. Tidigare positioner inkluderar bland annat IR- och kommunikationschef på Alimak Group, seniorkonsult på Hallvarsson & Halvarsson och kommunikationsansvarig på SAS Institute. "Vi är glada att välkomna Sofia till Stillfronts ledning. Sofia blir ansvarig för koncernens kommunikation, internt och externt samt investor relations. Rekryteringen av Sofia och tillsättningen av denna tjänst, som är ny, är ett led i bolagets planerade listbyte till Nasdaq Stockholms huvudlista. Denna satsning är också viktig då gruppen sedan noteringen på First North 2015 har vuxit med flera stora förvärv
Stillfront Group AB: Stillfront Group announces Head of IR & Communications20.8.2018 08:30 | Pressmeddelande
PRESS RELEASE 2018-08-20 Stillfront Group announces Head of IR & Communications Sofia Wretman has been appointed as Head of IR & Communications and will be part of the Group's management team. The position is new and covers both internal and external communications as well as investor relations. Sofia Wretman has more than fifteen years of experience of strategic communication and investor relations from a range of industries. Former positions include Head of IR & Communications at Alimak Group, Senior Consultant at Hallvarsson & Halvarsson and Communications manager at SAS Institute. "We are pleased to welcome Sofia as member of the management team. Sofia will be responsible for internal and external communications as well as investor relations. The recruitment of Sofia and the appointment of this new role is part of the Group's planned move to the main market of Nasdaq Stockholm. The recruitment is also important as the Group since its listing at First North in 2015, has grown rapidl
BIMobject AB: Kallelse till extra bolagsstämma den 5 september 2018. Patrick Söderlund och Hjalmar Winbladh föreslås som nya styrelseledamöter i BIMobject AB. Split 2:1 föreslås.15.8.2018 15:30 | Pressmeddelande
Aktieägare representerande cirka 49 procent av rösterna i BIMobject AB har meddelat att de föreslår att Hjalmar Winbladh och Patrick Söderlund väljs till nya styrelseledamöter vid en extra bolagsstämma onsdagen den 5 september 2018. Ben O'Donnell lämnar sitt uppdrag som styrelseledamot i samband med den extra bolagsstämman. Styrelsen kommer därefter att bestå av Stefan Larsson (VD), Anders Wilhjelm (ordförande), Johannes Reischböck, Philippe Butty, Hjalmar Winbladh och Patrick Söderlund. Vidare föreslås ändrad ersättning till styrelsen. Nytt arvode utgår med 800 000 kronor, fördelat mellan styrelseordförande och Söderlund om 400 000 kronor vardera. Styrelsen föreslår även att stämman beslutar om aktieuppdelning av befintliga utestående aktier i förhållande 2:1. Patrick Söderlund, född 1973 och svensk medborgare, är Chief Design Officer samt Executive Vice President på Electronic Arts. I denna roll leder han utvecklingen av bolagets tekniska innovationer och bolagets marknadsföringsteam
BIMobject AB: Notice to attend Extraordinary General Meeting on September 5, 2018. Patrick Söderlund and Hjalmar Winbladh proposed as new Board Members in BIMobject AB. A split 2:1 is proposed.15.8.2018 15:30 | Pressmeddelande
Shareholders representing approximately 49 percent of the votes in BIMobject AB have announced that they propose that Hjalmar Winbladh and Patrick Söderlund are appointed new Board Members at an Extraordinary General Meeting to be held on Wednesday September 5, 2018. Ben O'Donnell resigns as Board Member in connection with the Extraordinary General Meeting. The Board will thereafter be composed of Stefan Larsson (CEO), Anders Wilhjelm (Chairman), Johannes Reischböck, Philippe Butty, Hjalmar Winbladh and Patrick Söderlund. Furthermore, a change in remuneration to the Board is proposed. The new Board fee totals SEK 800,000 and is to be divided between the Chairman and Söderlund with SEK 400,000 each. The board also proposes that the General Meeting resolves to split the company's shares 2:1. Patrick Söderlund, born in 1973 and a Swedish citizen, is Chief Design Officer and Executive Vice President at Electronic Arts. In his present role he manages the development of technology innovation
I vårt pressrum kan du läsa de senaste pressmeddelandena, få tillgång till pressmaterial och hitta kontaktinformation.Besök vårt pressrum