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PwC survey points to optimism among CEOs

Jan 24
Tags: PwC
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PwC survey points to optimism among CEOs

Chief executive officers of UK companies are going into 2018 in a relatively buoyant mood, despite widespread awareness of the potential challenges that await businesses over the coming year.

That's according to PwC's 21st annual CEO Survey, which was published at this week's World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Results from the poll of 193 business leaders in the UK found that more than a third of respondents (36 per cent) were expecting an improvement in global economic growth this year.

That marks a significant improvement from last year (17 per cent) and suggests that CEOs are more confident about the worldwide economy than at any time since 2015.

A substantial majority (88 per cent) of chief executives felt positive about growth for their own organisation in the next 12 months. That figure is largely consistent with a year earlier (89 per cent) and the current company outlook among global CEOs (87 per cent positive).

However, the proportion of UK respondents saying they were 'very confident' about business performance this year dropped from 41 per cent in 2017 to 34 per cent this year. PwC said this was not surprising, given relatively slow progress in the ongoing Brexit negotiations.

Encouragingly, almost all CEOs in the UK (96 per cent) predicted growth in revenue in 2018.

Kevin Ellis, chairman and senior partner of PwC, said: "Robust confidence levels among UK CEOs points to resilience in uncertain times, but this is tempered by a big dose of realism about the challenges ahead. Brexit uncertainty, regulation, availability of skills and cyber are key concerns, but business leaders remain confident they can navigate through them."

The study revealed that chief executives in the UK and worldwide share the top two concerns about potential economic or policy threats to their business, namely geopolitical uncertainty (83 per cent UK; 85 per cent globally) and over-regulation (80 per cent UK; 83 per cent globally).

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Image: iStock/Pinkypills

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