CEOs most gloomy on growth in over a decade – PwC survey

CEOs most gloomy on growth in over a decade – PwC survey

CEOs most gloomy on growth in over a decade – PwC survey

Davos during the World Economic Forum 2023
The 2023 World Economic Forum (WEF) logo is seen at the Davos Congress Center in the alpine resort of Davos, Switzerland, January 16, 2023.

Business confidence in their growth prospects has fallen the most since the 2007-2008 global financial crisis due to rising inflation, macroeconomic volatility and geopolitical strife, according to a PricewaterhouseCoopers survey.

With 73% of CEOs worldwide expecting global economic growth to decline over the next 12 months, this gloomy view is the most pessimistic of CEOs since PwC launched the survey more than a decade ago. , he said on Monday.

The ‘Big Four’ auditor also said this marked a significant departure from the optimistic outlook in 2021 and 2022.

The survey also revealed that 60% of CEOs do not plan to reduce the size of their workforce over the next 12 months, while 80% do not plan to reduce staff compensation in order to retain talent and mitigate workforce attrition rates.

Companies that performed well in 2022 are likely to see a tougher year ahead, PwC Global Chairman Bob Moritz told the Reuters Global Markets Forum (GMF) on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos.

Nearly 40% of the more than 4,400 business leaders surveyed said their businesses would not be economically viable over the next decade unless they innovate and transform at a faster pace.

“It’s both the timing and the scale that are surprising – how can I survive the next two or three years and navigate my way through a challenging macroeconomic environment, while transforming my organization to be poised for growth over the next 10 years,” Moritz said.

The survey also found that companies are cutting costs, although many do not plan to cut headcount or compensation in the fight to retain talent.

“You’re starting to see some differentiation…in terms of those (companies) that have debt-driven balance sheets that will struggle to cope with rising interest rates and inflationary pressures, versus those that have done a good job managing down debt and have the ability to transform their portfolios,” Moritz said.

Separately, two-thirds of chief private and public sector economists polled by the World Economic Forum (WEF) expect a global recession in 2023.

Other highlights of PwC’s investigation include:

– Half of CEOs said they had reduced operating costs, 51% said they were increasing prices, and 48% were diversifying their product and service offerings.

– Climate risk did not feature as prominently as a short-term risk over the next 12 months compared to other global risks.

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