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    DGAP-News CEO Confidence in Growth Down

    Nachrichtenquelle: EQS Group AG
     |  22.01.2013, 18:30  |  302  |  0


    22.01.2013 18:30

              Majority of CEOs Say Global Economy to Remain Stalled in 2013

             Fiscal Deficits,
      Over-Regulation and the Economy Top Concerns in PwC´s 16th Annual Global CEO

    DAVOS, Switzerland, 2013-01-22 18:30 CET (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Only 36% of CEOs
    worldwide are ´very confident´ of their company´s growth prospects in the next
    12 months, according to PwC´s 16th Annual Global CEO Survey. That´s down from
    40% who were ´very confident´ of short term growth last year and 48% in 2011,
    but still above the lows of 31% and 21% in 2010 and 2009.

    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. While the CEOs´ outlook remains gloomy, the forecast is an
    improvement on last year when 48% of CEOs predicted the global economy would
    decline in 2012.

    CEOs in Western Europe were least confident of short term revenue growth. Faced
    with ongoing recession, just 22% of Western European CEOs said they were very
    confident of growth, down from 27% last year and 39% in 2011. Confidence in
    short term growth also declined in North America to 33% (42% in 2012) and in
    Asia Pacific to 36% (42% in 2012). Even in Africa, seen by many as the next
    high-growth economy, CEO confidence in company growth slipped to 44%, from 57%
    last year.

    Latin American CEOs, however, bucked the trend. Their short term confidence
    rose to 53% of CEOs, up slightly from last year.

    At the country level, confidence varied widely: CEOs are most confident in
    Russia where 66% are very confident of revenue growth in 2013, closely followed
    by India (63%) and Mexico (62%). They were trailed by countries including
    Brazil (44%), China (40%), Germany (31%), the US (30%), the UK (22%), Japan
    (18%), France (13%) and finally Korea, where only 6% of CEOs are very confident
    of revenue growth in the year ahead. [see note 2]

    Longer term, overall CEO confidence remained stable; 46% of CEOs worldwide said
    they were very confident of growth prospects in the next three years, about the
    same as last year. CEOs in Africa and the Middle East were most confident of
    long term growth, at 62% and 56% respectively. In North America, 51% were ´very
    confident´ of long term growth, while 52% in Asia Pacific were very confident.
    Long term confidence was weakest in Europe at 34%.

    Releasing the 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.

    What worries CEOs most?

    As the difficult economic conditions persist, CEOs are generally more worried
    about a wider range of issues than they were a year ago. Top of the list, a
    concern among 81% of CEOs about continuing uncertainty over economic growth.

    Sending a clear message to governments around the world, other key CEO worries
    are the government response to the fiscal deficit (71%), over-regulation (69%)
    and lack of stability in capital markets (61%).   CEO concerns about
    over-regulation are at their highest since 2006. When asked directly about the
    government response to the regulatory burden, CEOs are even more blunt, with
    just 12% agreeing that their government has reduced the regulatory burden in
    the last year.

    When asked about the major threats to their business growth, CEOs also cited
    the increasing tax burden (62%), availability of key skills (58%) and the cost
    of energy and raw materials (52%).

    Dealing with disruption

    In order to build organisations that can survive and thrive amid disorder, CEOs
    are pursuing three specific strategies: targeting pockets of opportunity,
    concentrating on the customer and improving operational effectiveness:

    1.      Targeting pockets of opportunity

    Some 68% of CEOs 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.

    China topped the list of countries seen overall as most important for future
    growth, cited by 31% of CEOs, followed by the US (23%), Brazil (15%), Germany
    (12%), and India (10%). Indonesia was listed among the top ten for the first
    time this year, two points above Japan. Among large companies (over US$10
    billion), however, China was viewed as most important by 45% while the US
    dropped to 20%

    2.      Concentrating on the customer

    Nearly half the CEOs (49%) see shifts in consumer buying patterns as a serious
    business threat and 51% said their top investment priority for the next 12
    months was growing their customer base. 82% of CEOs anticipate making changes
    to their customer growth and retention strategies - and 31% have major changes
    in mind.

    3.      Improving operational effectiveness

    Improving operational effectiveness is a top investment priority for CEOs. 77%
    have undertaken cost reduction initiatives in the past 12 months and 70% plan
    to do so in the next 12 months.

    But CEOs are wary about inadvertently cutting value. One indicator: 48% of CEOs
    have increased their company´s headcount during the past 12 months, while 25%
    have kept it at the same level.

    Jobs and the search for talent

    CEOs remain relatively cautious on plans for increasing headcount for this
    coming year. 45% of CEOs plan to recruit in 2013 (down from 51% in 2012) while
    23% plan to reduce the size of their workforce.

    Looking at which industries are recruiting and which are shedding jobs shows an
    interesting picture. CEOs most likely to be increasing headcount are in
    business services (56%), engineering and construction (52%), retail (49%) and
    healthcare (43%); while the biggest number of CEOs planning headcount
    reductions are in banking (35%), the metal industries (32%) and forestry and
    paper (31%).

    Whatever their hiring outlook, finding and keeping the right people remains a
    major challenge for CEOs. Availability of key skills was ranked by CEOs as a
    major threat to growth prospects, cited by 58% worldwide. The skills threat was
    especially acute among smaller companies and in high growth areas like Africa,
    the Middle East and Asia Pacific.

    And the CEOs most concerned about the skills shortage were those in mining
    (75%), engineering and construction (65%), communications (65%), technology
    (64%) and insurance (64%).

    In view of all this, it is unsurprising that more than three quarters (77%) of
    CEOs said they anticipate making changes in their company´s strategies for
    managing talent during the next 12 months, and nearly a quarter (23%) said they
    expect the changes to be major.

    Addressing public trust

    CEOs also recognise the need to build trust with a wider set of stakeholders.
    37% worry that lack of trust in their industry could endanger their company´s
    growth, and 57% plan to focus more heavily on promoting an ethical culture. In
    addition, nearly half of CEOs (49%) plan to put more effort into reducing their
    environmental footprint in the next 12 months.

    Notes to editors:

    1.     Survey Methodology:

    For PwC´s 16th Annual Global CEO Survey, 1,330 interviews were conducted in 68
    countries during the last quarter of 2012. By region, 449 interviews were
    conducted in Asia Pacific, 312 in Western Europe, 227 in North America, 165 in
    Latin America, 95 in Central & Eastern Europe, 50 in Africa and 32 in the
    Middle East.

    The full survey report with supporting graphics can be downloaded at

    2.       List of country/regional CEOs expressing they were very confident of
    12 month growth: Russia (66%), India (63%), Mexico (62%), Middle East (53%),
    Africa (52%), South Africa (45%), Brazil (44%), Canada (42%), Romania (42%),
    ASEAN (40%), China/Hong Kong (40%), Germany (31%), Australia (30%), US (30%),
    Venezuela (30%), Argentina (26%), UK (22%), Italy (21%), Scandinavia (20%),
    Spain (20%), Japan (18%), Switzerland (18%), France (13%), Korea (6%).

    3.       PwC helps organisations and individuals create the value they´re
    looking for. We´re a network of firms in 158 countries with more than 180,000
    people who are committed to delivering quality in assurance, tax and advisory
    services. Tell us what matters to you and find out more by visiting us at

    (c)2013 PwC. All rights reserved

    PwC refers to the PwC network and/or one or more of its member firms, each of
    which is a separate legal entity. Please see for further

    The PwC logo is available at

             CONTACT: Mike Ascolese, PwC
             Tel: +1 (646) 471 8106
             Mike Davies, PwC
             (On site at Davos) Tel: +44 (0) 78 0397 4136
    News Source: NASDAQ OMX

    22.01.2013 Dissemination of a Corporate News, transmitted by DGAP -
    a company of EquityStory AG.
    The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.

    DGAP´s Distribution Services include Regulatory Announcements,
    Financial/Corporate News and Press Releases.
    Media archive at and

    Language:     English
    Company:      PwC
                  United States
    ISIN:         US9900589196

    End of Announcement                             DGAP News-Service

    Themen: EuroChinaJapan


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    DGAP-News CEO Confidence in Growth Down


    22.01.2013 18:30

              Majority of CEOs Say Global Economy to Remain Stalled in 2013

             Fiscal Deficits,
      Over-Regulation and the Economy Top Concerns in PwC´s 16th Annual Global CEO

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