PwC sees optimism worldwide among CEOs – except in CEE

Analysis

PwC’s 17th Annual Global CEO Survey was released last week, with company heads generally showing unprecedented optimism in terms of macroeconomic outlook and personal willingness to make new investments – except for those doing business in Central and Eastern Europe...

Based on results of the survey which included over 1,300 respondents from 68 countries, PwC concluded that CEOs and their business are “gradually switching from survival mode to growth mode.” Of those surveyed, some 44% believe that the global economy will improve in 2014; while the number may not sound especially impressive in and of itself, compare that surveys in 2012 and ’13 had this figure at 14% and 18%, respectively.

In addition, just 7% of those surveyed figure 2014 will be worse for the international business climate; 39% characterized themselves as “very confident” of revenue growth this year.

However, such a rosy outlook isn’t necessarily translating to this region: When asked whether the global economy is recovering, only about 25% of CEOs based in Central and Eastern Europe responded affirmatively; over half the respondents from Western Europe and the Middle East believe in the ongoing recovery. In the introduction to the published survey results, PricewaterhouseCoopers International chairman Dennis M. Nally supposed that “The optimism some CEOs display may therefore stem from relief that certain risks (such as the collapse of the Eurozone) have been averted for now, rather than the conviction that things are really getting better…”

Included among the many results in the wide-ranging survey was the note that some 64% of CEOs worldwide plan to implement a cost-reduction initiative within the next 12 months.

And interestingly enough, PwC reckons that in the short- to medium-term, investment opportunities might be heading back to European Union countries and away from certain developing markets. In response to the question, "Which three countries do you consider most important for your overall growth prospects over the next 12 months," the biggest rises year-on-year were seen by the US, Germany and the UK, whereas Brazil and India saw a 3% drop in this category.

Click on the following embedded link for the full, 44-page report on the PwC Annual Global CEO Survey.

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