Leading in extraordinary times, the 2015 US CEO Survey

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01/22/2015
Leading in extraordinary times, the 2015 US CEO Survey

At a glance

Learn how US CEOs are positioning for a new era where overseas business growth is balanced more evenly between developed and emerging economies, and mainstream adoption of digital technologies everywhere is surging.

The world’s CEOs are looking to the US for business growth in 2015.

For the first time in five years in PwC’s Annual Global CEO Survey, more business leaders rate the US as their most important market for overseas growth ahead of all others, including China’s.

As the US recovery gains traction, it is gaining more adherents. Challenges remain, yet key measures of US economic health are improving. Business hopes are building that the American consumer market will start firing on more than one piston in 2015. PwC projects US GDP growth of 3.2% this year.

Yet even as US economic indicators recalibrate to a more normal setting, it is likely the business environment will not. If there has been one constant throughout the shifts in risk/rewards over the past five years for US CEOs, it’s been this: with every upgrade and new Internet hook-up, devices got smarter, customers got smarter, employees got smarter.

Businesses resigned to dealing with the effects of extreme transparency on pricing models at a time of constrained US spending may find a new set of challenges as the US market gains the global leadership spot.

CEOs everywhere are forging ahead in an environment they believe is more volatile and unpredictable. Across a number of areas, more CEOs are worried about threats to business growth in 2015 than they were three years ago.

Yet 61% of CEOs globally—and this is even more so for US CEOs (67%)—believe there are more growth opportunities today for their companies than three years ago. What’s more, 46% of US CEOs are ‘very confident’ of achieving revenue growth this year, a five-year Survey high. What’s changed?

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It’s clear that in 2015, disruptive change will affect all global markets. But while CEOs are less confident overall about the prospects for the global economy, many believe that there are significant opportunities for their own business to grow in the year ahead.