Despite highly publicised handwringing over geopolitical uncertainty, corporate misbehaviour, and the job-killing potential of artificial intelligence, PwC’s 21st CEO Survey reveals surprising faith and optimism among chief executives in the economic and business environment worldwide, at least over the next 12 months.
Why are CEOs around the world so optimistic? And why doesn’t their global good cheer translate into equivalent
exuberance regarding their own organisation’s growth prospects?
This year saw the highest-ever jump to the highest-ever level of CEO optimism regarding global growth prospects over the next 12 months (see Exhibit 1). For the first time since we began asking the question in 2012, the majority of CEOs surveyed believe global economic growth will ‘improve’. In fact, the percentage of CEOs predicting ‘improved’
growth doubled from last year. This record level of optimism holds fast across every region from North America (defined as the US and Canada for this survey) and Latin America to Western Europe, Central & Eastern Europe (CEE), Africa, the Middle East, and Asia-Pacific (see Exhibit 2).