CEOs lose confidence in growth

The confidence level of CEOs is better when it comes to prospects for growth in their own cos.

Written by Agencies | Davos | Published:January 25, 2012 1:19 pm

As the top leaders from across the world converge here to discuss the business of the world,the CEOs have painted a gloomy picture for global economy in a worldwide survey.

At the same time,the confidence level of the CEOs is relatively better when it comes to the prospects for revenue growth in their own companies,as per the 15th Annual CEO survey released by consultancy major PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers) here last evening.

The confidence level among Indian CEOs about revenue growth prospects has,however,declined to the lowest in six years,although the percentage of Indian business chiefs being about their growth prospects is higher than that of their global peers.

Besides,Indian CEOs are also more confident about their hiring plans and a lesser number of business chiefs in India are planning any cost-cutting measures in the next one year.

At the same time,the Indian CEOs are more concerned than their global peers about issues like bribery and corruption,-regulation,increasing tax burden,exchange rate volatility,government¿s response to fiscal deficit and debt burden and the government protectionism.

As many as 92 per cent Indian CEOs were concerned about bribery and corruption,89 per cent about uncertain or volatile economic growth,86 per cent about over-regulation,83 per cent about growing tax burdens,80 per cent about forex fluctuations,79 per cent about fiscal deficit and government borrowings and 75 per cent about government protectionism.

PwC released the survey results here ahead of the World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting 2012,where business and political leaders from across the globe are expected to discuss the global economic slowdown and deteriorating business sentiments,among other issues.

As per the survey,55 per cent of Indian CEOs (as against 40 per cent globally) said they were very confident of their revenue growth in 2012.

However,this marks a significant decline from 88 per cent last year and is the lowest in past six years,PwC International Chairman Dennis Nally told journalists here.

Africa is the only region where the confidence level has increased to 57 per cent,from 50 per cent a year ago.

For the overall economy,only 15 per cent CEOs globally expect a growth in 2012,although nearly three-times as many CEOs are confident about their revenue growth.

On a positive note,Nally said,the CEOs are confident about hiring and a majority of them believe that emerging markets are important for their future.

Asked about the decline in confidence level in India and China,despite their high economic growth rates,Nally said it shows how integrated the global economy has become and even the European sovereign debt crisis becomes a matter of concern for businesses across the world.

As per the CEOs,the best strategic growth opportunities would come in the next one year from increasing their share in emerging markets.

A total of 59 per cent CEOs felt that emerging markets were more important for the future of their companies than the developed markets and identified BRIC (Brazil,Russia,India and China) as their top growth targets.

But despite a sluggish economy,the CEOs were in favour of fresh hiring,while this sentiment was even better in India.

A total of 55 per cent Indian CEO (as against 53 per cent globally) said their have increased their headcount in past one year,while 61 per cent (again higher than 51 per cent globally) said they plan to increase their headcount in 2012.

Also,just 14 per cent Indian CEOs (lower than 18 per cent globally) said they expect to lower their headcount in the next one year.

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