CEO confidence about the global economy is on the upswing, but the corporate bosses are also concerned about growth potential, attracting talent, and dealing with international regulations, according to the latest PricewaterhouseCoopers' Global CEO Survey. These track closely with the biggest concerns of today's supply chain professionals.
The annual report, released at the recent World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, last month, gives a good gauge of where c-level top brass see potential bright spots for the coming year and details what's worrying them.
For 2014, executives are optimistic about seeing global economic growth and corporate growth. About 44% of the 1,344 CEOs interviews expect to see an improvement in the world economy over the next 12 months. That's a notable increase in sentiment from last year, when only 18% held the same view. Reversely, just 7% predict the global economy will decline, a sharp decrease from 28% who expected that in 2013.
Slightly less — 39% — say they are “very confident” of their own companies' revenue growth prospects for the next 12 months, up from 36% last year and much higher than the low of 21% in 2009, the survey found.
It's not all hunky-dory, though. There are trouble spots they're watching as well.
For example, the level of concern about overregulation (72% of those polled) and fiscal deficits (71%) are “as high as they have ever been,” according to the press release.
They're also jittery about the slowdown in emerging economies, sluggish growth in developed markets, increasing tax burdens, and exchange rate volatility — those pesky things that often get these senior managers uptight. Watch this video for more study results from PwC CEO Dennis Nally:
Do you agree with the CEOs? Are you planning for an up year, or do you think it's too early to pop out the champagne and celebrate predicted economic improvements? What challenges do you see in the coming 12 months and how are you addressing them?
And, there's anxiety about the availability of key skills, with 63% naming that a major worry. That concern dovetails another one — 52% of those polled noted that regulations have made it more difficult to attract skilled workers. The skills and talent gaps is something EBN has been covering in-depth recently, and it sounds like it will stay spotlight for the foreseeable future. (See Saving Supply Chain Mid-Management Talent and our latest edition of the Velocity e-zine, where the talent pinch is the main theme for the quarter publication.)
But even with the talent concerns weighing heavy on their minds, many companies seem poised to put out the “Hiring” sign. Half of the CEOs surveyed are expecting to add to staff over the next 12 months, slightly up from the 45% who had such plans last year. There's more good news — the technology industry topped the list of where job prospects look most positive.
To help close the shortfall in talent, an overwhelming 93% of CEOs said they are making changes to their talent strategies. The report doesn't go into much detail about how their talent strategies are shifting, but it will be fun to watch how they unfold this year.