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Middle Eastern CEOs most hopeful about global economic growth
January 24, 2015, 12:41 pm

CEOs in Asia and the Middle East are most hopeful about global economic growth in the next 12 months.

This is according to The Price Waterhouse Cooper’s (PwC) 18th Annual Global CEO Survey. Results of the survey were released at the opening of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland.

CEOs in the Asia Pacific region (45 percent) 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 percent of CEOs very confident of revenue growth, although this is down markedly from last year’s 69 percent. CEO confidence in growth is higher in North America, rising to 43 percent from 33 percent. CEOs in Western Europe (31 percent) and Central and Eastern Europe (30 percent) are least optimistic about their company’s growth prospects.

Looking country by country, India’s CEOs top the list, with 62 percent very confident in their short-term growth prospects. Other leading countries include Mexico (50 percent), the US (46 percent), Australia (43 percent) the UK and South Africa (39 percent), China (36 percent), Germany (35 percent) and Brazil (30 percent).

Among the least confident countries are France (23 percent), Venezuela (22 percent), Italy (20 percent), Argentina (17 percent) and, at the bottom of the list, Russia, with only 16 percent of CEOs very confident of revenue growth for 2015. This is down from 53 per cent last year when Russia’s CEOs were the most confident in the world.

On the global economy, CEOs are less optimistic about global growth prospects than a year ago, with 37 percent thinking global economic growth will improve in 2015.

This is down from 44 percent last year. Significantly, 17 percent of CEOs believe global economic growth will decline, more than twice as many as a year ago (7 percent). The remaining 44 percent expect economic conditions to remain steady.

Despite the overall declining outlook for the global economy, CEOs remain confident about prospects for their own company; 39 percent worldwide said they are ‘very confident’ their company’s revenues will grow in the next 12 months. That’s the same as last year; though up slightly from 36 percent in 2013.

CEOs are concerned about the availability of key skills (73 percent), fiscal deficits and debt burdens (72 pe cent), geopolitical uncertainty (72 percent), increasing taxes (70 percent), cyber threats and the lack of data security (61 percent) - going up rapidly from 48 percent last year – as well as social instability (60 percent), shifting consumer patterns (60 percent) and the speed of technological change (58 percent).

CEOs concerns are up in all areas compared to last year with the exception of energy costs where they are slightly down at 59 percent.

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