By Rob Starr, Content Manager, Big4.com
According to PwC‘s 16th Annual Global CEO survey, Only 36% of CEOs worldwide are ‘very confident’ of their company’s growth prospects in the next 12 months. Looking at the economy generally, 28% of CEOs say the global economy will decline further in 2013, and only 18% predict economic improvement; 52% say it will stay the same.
Releasing the CEO survey results on the first day of the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos, Dennis M. Nally, Chairman of PricewaterhouseCoopers International, said:
“CEOs remain cautious about their short term prospects and the outlook for the global economy. However, given the high levels of concern among CEOs about issues – such as over-regulation, government debt, capital market instability – it is no surprise that CEO confidence has declined in the last 12 months.
“We find CEOs working to deal with the ongoing risks. Strategically, CEOs continue to refine their operations, looking to cut costs without reducing value as they manage through sluggish times. They are seeking growth opportunities organically, avoiding large outlays that could strap resources for the future. Most important, they have a clear focus on customers, collaborating with them more closely than ever on programmes to stimulate demand, loyalty and joint innovation,” he said.
Some 68% of CEOs in the CEO survey are focusing on carefully selected initiatives. They’re weighing up all their options, making a few smart investments and consolidating their resources to maximize the odds of success.
Where CEOs see pockets of opportunity, nearly half are pinning their hopes on growth within existing markets, while only 25% are turning to new product development. And only 17% of CEOs are planning new mergers and acquisitions. For those CEOs planning an M&A, the top target regions are North America and Western Europe, with some evidence that CEOs are looking to take advantage of some difficult economic times to find a bargain according to the CEO survey.