CEOs' curbed confidence spells caution

22nd Annual Global CEO Survey

Last year, our survey revealed record-breaking CEO optimism. This year, chief executives tell a different story. Trade conflicts, political upset, and a projected slowdown in global economic growth have increased uncertainty and decreased confidence in revenue prospects. Explore the strategies organisations are using to navigate this new environment.

Key findings from CEOs in Cyprus

According to the findings, there is an increase in the number of CEOs who believe that the global economic growth will decline in the next 12 months, with 20% compared to 6% in 2018. At the same time, 40% of CEOs said that they are optimistic that global economic growth will improve in the coming period, down from 52% in 2018. The overall reduced optimism for the global economy, however, does not seem to affect CEO confidence in their own companies' prospects over the next 12 months. Specifically, 83% of CEOs in Cyprus, are confident regarding their company's prospects for growth and profitability. The areas of focus for CEOs in Cyprus are the gap in the availability and analysis of data, the lack of the necessary technology skills, the need for setting businesses on a digital transformation path and leveraging Artificial Intelligence while staying cyber secure.

Explore key findings
Bob Moritz, Global Chairman, previews PwC's 22nd CEO Survey

CEOs' prospects for growth in 2019

PwC's Global Chairman, Bob Moritz, previews the firm's annual CEO Survey with a focus on shifting chief executive sentiment heading into 2019.

Duration: 00:01:53

Our story

Reality check

Last year saw a record jump in optimism regarding global growth prospects. This year saw a record jump in pessimism, with nearly 30% of CEOs projecting a decline in global GDP growth, up from a mere 5% last year. CEOs also reported a noteworthy dip in confidence in their own organisations’ revenue prospects over the short (12-month) and medium (three-year) term.

Look inside-out for growth

Across the survey rang a general theme of hunkering down as CEOs adapt to the strong nationalist and populist sentiment sweeping the globe. The threats they consider most pressing are less existential and more related to the ease of doing business in the markets where they operate. When asked to identify the most attractive foreign markets for investment, CEOs are narrowing their choices and expressing more uncertainty.

Mind the information and skills gaps

In addition to the fault lines developing geopolitically, CEOs are working to bridge the gaps in their own capabilities. Organisations are struggling to translate a deluge of data into better decision making. There is a shortage of skilled talent to clean, integrate, and extract value from big data and move beyond baby steps toward AI. 





The confidence premium

In PwC’s annual global survey of chief executives, CEOs’ optimism about their own company’s prospects is a leading indicator of broader economic prosperity. How, then, can we best foster confident CEOs?

Read the article on strategy+business


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Ilona Steffen

Global Marketing & Insights Director, PwC Switzerland

Tel: +41 79 210 6692

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