Half of Global CEOs Confident in Revenue Growth

February 21, 2011

pwc-ceo-growth-feb-2011.JPGAbout half of global CEOs are confident in near-term revenue growth, according to the PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC)14th Annual Global CEO Survey. More specifically, 51% are very confident in their company’s prospects for revenue growth in the next three years, and 48% are very confident in prospects in the next year.

Interestingly, the percentage expressing confidence in revenue growth during the next three years is about the same as it was last year and in 2008 (50% both years), and well ahead of where it was in 2009 (34%). Meanwhile, the percentage expressing confidence in revenue growth in the next year is up significantly from both last year (34%) and 2009 (215), and almost 15% higher than 2008 (42%).

Emerging Markets Seen as Growth Drivers

pwc-ceo-emerging-markets-feb-2011.JPGRegardless of where a CEO’s company is located, a majority expect growth in emerging markets in the next 12 months. For example, a high of 93% of African CEOs expect growth in their African market in the next 12 months, as do a low of 64% of North American CEOs.

Expectations for Asia are even better, with 100% of Middle Eastern CEOs expecting growth there in the next 12 months, while a low of 88% of Asia-Pacific CEOs expect short-term Middle Eastern growth. Similarly high overall expectations for growth exist in the Latin America market, except among Middle Eastern CEOs (0%).

Expectations are also generally high in the Middle East market, with the notable exception of Latin American CEOs (47%). Expectations are more mixed in the North American, Western Europe and Eastern Europe markets.

China Leading Developed Market for Sourcing

pwc-ceo-developed-markets-feb-2011.JPGWhen asked which developed nations would be most important for their future sourcing needs (with China, India and Brazil classified as developed), China was most likely to be selected as the country CEOs were planning to shift their sourcing operations to (37%), largely for reasons of cost competitiveness, cited by 63% of CEOs selecting China.

The US followed with 22% of CEOs planning to shift their sourcing operations to American soil, with no single clear reason. Similar percentages plan to shift their sourcing operations to India (15%), Germany (14%) and Brazil (11%). Cost was the leading factor for India (55%) and Brazil (31%), while Germany was most often selected for innovation (31%).

Top 3 Risks Relate to Govt. Policies

pwc-ceo-top-risk-feb-2011.JPGWhen asked to rank the likelihood of risk relating to potential economic and policy/business threats to growth, CEOs focused on government policy-related issues. The top three were recession/economy, public deficit, and overregulation. Availability of key skills, ranked first in 2008, ranked fourth in 2011. However, this human capital threat rose from eighth in 2010 and was also ranked seventh in 2009. Economy/recession was ranked first for the third straight year.

CFOs Broadly Characterize CEOs

North American CFOs characterize their CEOs broadly, according to recent data from Deloitte. They classify one-third as drivers and another third as pioneers (note that pioneers are the least common CFO style). Guardians constitute 22%, and only one in nine CEOs is considered an integrator. Deloitte analysis indicates that driver CEOs are prevalent in all industries but are less common in technology, telecom/media/entertainment (TME) and services (where pioneers tend to have a higher presence). Guardian CEOs dominate in healthcare/pharma.

About the Data: PriceWaterhouseCoopers surveyed more than 1,200 company leaders and government officials from 69 countries.

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