CEOs’ confidence in future growth has returned to nearly pre-crisis levels, according to PwC’s 14th Annual Global CEO Survey. In the worldwide poll of 1,201 CEOs, 48 percent said they were “very confident” of growth in the next 12 months. This is a major shift from the 31 percent who were “very confident” last year and close to the 50 percent reached in 2008 before the onslaught of the economic crisis.
In total, 88 percent of the surveyed CEOs stated that they now have some level of confidence for prospects in the following 12 months, up from 81 percent last year. Longer term, 94 percent are confident of growth three years from now, an increase of two percentage points against last year.
CEOs said they considered China the most important country for future growth. China, the US and India were seen as the most important future sources for products and raw materials.
“CEOs have emerged from the bunker mentality of surviving the recession. They now see renewed opportunity for growth, even in the near term, and are determined to take advantage of better global economic conditions and increased customer demands,” said Vasile Iuga (in picture), Country Managing Partner, PwC Romania.
The positive momentum in CEO confidence was reflected in hiring plans; more than half (51 percent) of CEOs worldwide said they expected to add jobs in the next 12 months, up from 39 percent in the last survey.
Fewer CEOs, 64 percent, said they planned to cut costs in the next 12 months, down from about 70 percent last year. And 34 percent said they would complete a merger or acquisition, half expect to form a new strategic alliance or joint venture, and 31 percent said they would outsource a business function. Western Europe, Asia and North America were the most popular venues for M&A.