of CEOs see more opportunities today than there were three years ago
Many CEOs this year are looking for the positives even as they continue to be wary about the state of the global economy. 61% say they see more opportunities for growth today than there were three years ago. And just as many CEOs this year as last year say they’re very confident about their business growth prospects in the next 12 months. This, despite rising concerns across a range of business risks, and recognition from many that their industries face upheaval. Instead, CEOs are exploring how they can create new value in a complex and contradictory environment.
That’s a smart strategy when you take into account the global uncertainty about where economic growth will come from. CEOs are less hopeful than they were a year ago about global economic growth prospects. 37% think the outlook will improve over the next 12 months, compared with 44% last year. 17%—more than twice as many as last year—think the outlook will worsen(1). The challenge CEOs face is anticipating which markets offer the best opportunity for growth at a time when the global business community is still looking to gets its swagger back.
Regulation fears keep CEOs awake at night, but so do many other concerns. 78% cite over-regulation as the top threat to business growth prospects. That’s an increase of 6% from last year. Rising taxes, as well as government response to national deficits and debt burdens, also remain top threats. But concerns are coming from a variety of other places – many, for example, are anxious about geopolitical uncertainty and social instability. Though CEOs are displaying increased concern about almost all the threats we raised, cyber security, the speed of technological change and the availability of key skills are getting special attention. And business leaders see regulatory change, increased competition and changes in customer behaviours as the top-three disruptive forces in their industry over the next five years.(1) In previous years, respondents were asked ‘Do you believe the global economy will improve, stay the same or decline over the next 12 months?'