CEOs less optimistic about global economy for 2015

Business News of Sunday, 25 January 2015

Source: Times Reporter

Inflation Diagram

Fewer Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) than last year think global economic growth will improve over the next 12 months, though confidence in their ability to achieve revenue growth in their own companies remain stable.

More than 1,300 CEOs were interviewed in PwC’s 18th Annual Global CEO Survey.

Results of the survey were released on January, 20 at the opening of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland.

The report said CEOs were less optimistic about global growth prospects than a year ago, with 37 per cent of CEOs thinking global economic growth would improve in 2015.

This, it said, is down from 44 per cent last year. Significantly, 17 per cent of CEOs believe global economic growth will decline more than twice as many as a year ago (7 per cent).

The remaining 44 per cent expect economic conditions to remain steady.

Regionally, the results show wide variations. CEOs in Asia Pacific are the most optimistic about the global economy with 45 per cent anticipating improvement, followed by the Middle East (44 per cent), and North America (37 per cent). On the other hand, only 16 per cent of CEOs in Central and Eastern Europe expect economic improvement.

CEOs in emerging economies like India (59 per cent), China (46 per cent) and Mexico (42 per cent) are more optimistic about the economy than those in developed economies like the US (29 per cent) and Germany (33 per cent.

The survey said despite the overall declining outlook for the global economy, CEOs remained confident about prospects of their own companies; 39 per cent worldwide said they were very confident their company’s revenues would grow in the next 12 months.

It said that’s the same as last year; though up slightly from 36 per cent in 2013.

“CEOs in the Asia-Pacific region (45 per cent ) are most confident of revenue growth, about the same as last year. The Middle East is still one of the most optimistic regions with 44 per cent of CEOs very confident of revenue growth, although this is down markedly from last year’s 69 per cent,” it said.

CEO confidence in growth is higher in North America, rising to 43 per cent from 33 per cent. CEOs in Western Europe (31 per cent) and Central and Eastern Europe (30 per cent) are least optimistic about their company’s growth prospects.

Commenting on the survey results, Dennis M. Nally, Chairman of PricewaterhouseCoopers International, said “The world is facing significant challenges: economically, politically and socially. CEOs overall remain cautious in their near-term outlook for the worldwide economy, as well as for growth prospects for their own companies.”

He said “While some mature markets like the US appear to be rebounding, others like the Eurozone continue to struggle. And while some emerging economies continue to expand rapidly, others are slowing. Finding the right strategic balance to sustain growth in this changing marketplace remains a challenge.”