Half a World Away

Monday, February 22, 2016

By Site Selection Magazine

You may be there to solve global problems, but attending the annual World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland, generally obliges you to also express remorse for being there in the first place.

Happily, one of the best ways to expiate that sin is bona fide research that may indeed help company leaders solve problems and make decisions — no matter where they're located or, in some cases, stuck.

The snow-bright Swiss enclave was the perfect place for PwC to release the gloomy results of its 19th annual Global CEO Survey, conducted in late 2015 and receiving responses from 1,409 CEOs in 83 countries.

Among its findings: Two-thirds of CEOs see more threats facing their businesses today than three years ago. Just over a quarter (27 percent) believe global growth will improve over the next 12 months, a decline of 10 points from last year. Just over a third (35 percent) are very confident of their own company growth in the coming year, down four points from last year (39 percent), and one point below 2013.

North American CEOs are the gloomiest of the bunch, with a level of optimism (16 percent) half that of the most optimistic regions (Western Europe at 33 percent, and the Middle East at 34 percent). "Almost a third of China’s CEOs believe global economic growth will slow down in 2016," said PwC. "The biggest turnaround is seen in Taiwan, where only 19 percent are very confident of short-term company growth, compared to 65 percent last year — an astonishing slump of 46 points. However, Switzerland has the lowest confidence, with only 16 percent of Swiss CEOs very confident of revenue growth, compared with 24 percent in 2015."

Confidence in their own businesses' revenue growth is strongest, however, among CEOs in India (64 percent), Spain (54 percent) and Romania (50 percent).

"Looking at investment prospects, the US, China, Germany and the UK remain the countries CEOs view as most important for growth in the next 12 months," said PwC. "Mexico and the UAE have also entered the top 10 in place of Indonesia and Australia."

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Category: Site Selection Magazine, News

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