KUALA LUMPUR, 25 January 2012 – Nearly half (48%) of the 1,258 CEOs polled worldwide believe the global economy will decline even further in the next 12 months, according to PwC’s 15th Annual Global CEO Survey. Just 15% said the global economy will improve during 2012. However, nearly three times as many CEOs are confident in their own companies’ growth prospects for the next 12 months than in the outlook for the global economy, suggesting CEOs believe they have learned how to manage through difficult and volatile economic times.
40% of CEOs said they are ‘very confident’ of revenue growth for their companies in the next 12 months, down from the 48% last year - though still up from the 31% who were ‘very confident’ in 2010. Unsurprisingly, the biggest decline in confidence was in Western Europe. Beset by the sovereign debt crisis, just a quarter of European CEOs said they were very confident of revenue growth, down sharply from nearly 40% last year. Short term confidence also fell among CEOs in Asia Pacific, where confidence among CEOs fell to 42% from 54% last year. China saw the biggest decline in confidence in the Asia Pacific region, with 51% of CEOs feeling ‘very confident’, down from 72% last year.
"CEO confidence is decidedly down as they deal with the aftershocks to the recession. CEOs are disappointed with the course of the global economy and the pace of recovery. The optimism that had been building cautiously since 2008 has begun to recede," said Chin Kwai Fatt, Managing Director, PwC Malaysia.
“Nonetheless, despite the uncertainties, the long-term trends that have encouraged corporations to invest in the emerging world, create innovation and develop talent remain firmly in place,” explained Chin.
Finding and keeping the right talent remains a top concern for CEOs. Only 30% said they are ‘very confident’ they will have access to the talent needed to execute their company's strategy, and 43% believe that it has become more difficult to hire workers in their industry. Recruiting and retaining high potential middle managers is the biggest talent challenge, CEOs said, followed by hiring skilled production employees and younger workers.
This challenge cuts across all industries, even those with different talent needs, such as industrial manufacturing and pharmaceuticals.
“Many Malaysian CEOs will understand and indentify with this situation. Talent challenges have been at the top of our agenda for quite awhile now. The struggle to retain our best and brightest remains an uphill battle,” said Chin.
“One way to meet this challenge head on is to devote more energy and resources to develop a leadership and talent pipeline. Nearly three quarters (66%) of CEOs surveyed globally say they plan to do this. They expect to make changes to their strategies for managing talent in the next twelve months,” he continued.
Not having the right talent in place is a leading threat to growth for many CEOs. In fact:
According to the CEOs:
Notes to editor:
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