CEO Pulse

PwC’s CEO pulse provides a temperature gauge of global CEO sentiment on a variety of topical business issues throughout the year. We poll a panel of global CEOs, up to four times each year, asking them for their thoughts on an array of topics impacting both business and wider society. At the same time, we ask participants about their confidence in revenue growth, and track this through our quarterly CEO confidence check.

Our latest CEO Pulse on Crisis

Can you recall a time when the world seemed quite as unpredictable and uncertain as it does today? In 2016 we saw the UK vote to leave the European Union, US electors chose a Republican outsider, President Donald J. Trump and a referendum on government reform in Italy that led to the resignation of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. 2017 will also test the political status quo, with four European Union elections and the UK’s hopeful triggering of Article 50 to leave the EU. Add to these events fluctuating currencies, sluggish growth, civil unrest and continued geo-political turmoil across the globe and it seems clear that for the foreseeable future the only certainty is more uncertainty.

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Explore our CEO Pulse series

  

CEO Confidence Check

How confident are CEOs this quarter?

Despite the ongoing unrest in the world and on the political stage, CEOs continue to be optimistic about their company’s short term revenue prospects. In this quarter’s CEO pulse, 41% of the 240 CEOs we spoke to across the world told us they were very confident in their ability to grow revenues – 3% up on the previous quarter.

Sounds counter-intuitive, right? But consider this. In our recent 20th CEO Survey, uncertain economic growth topped the list of CEO concerns at 83% with geopolitical uncertainty ranking fourth at 74%. This result probably confirms the hypothesis that most CEOs have adapted their organisations to respond to and plan for uncertainty. On the other hand, a good number of new policies (and policy statements) coming out of the political changes we’ve been through are pro-business. And, of course, business leaders tend to instinctively know where to find the ‘silver lining’ when it comes to improving the top-line.

What does this mean at the macro level? Fast forward to 2050 and we project that the world economy could more than double in size by that time, far outstripping population growth due to continued technology-driven productivity improvements. The large seven largest emerging economies, the ‘E7’ are projected to grow twice as fast as the advanced G7 economies. A consequence of this trend will be that, six of the seven largest economies in the world are projected to be emerging economies in 2050 led by China (1st), India (2nd) and Indonesia (4th).

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