U.S. CEOs Headed to Davos Are Gloomy About 2013

US CEOs are showing less confidence for growth in 2013 but are optimistic about the longer-term horizon, according to the 16th annual survey of U.S. CEOs conducted by PricewaterhouseCooper. They are, however, far more confident in their company’s ability to navigate through the anticipated volatility expected over the next three years.

January 24 2013 by ChiefExecutive.net


In anticipation of the opening of the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in the snowy Swiss resort of Davos, PwC released its survey results as 1,200 CEOs from around the world gather to discuss global concerns and issues facing leaders. They do so amidst public mistrust, disappearing jobs and a fierce headwind of other challenges. The survey results showed a steady drop in the number of CEOs worldwide who are “very confident” that their companies will grow this year. The number fell from 48 percent in 2011 to 36 percent this year.

According to the Associated Press, most leaders are carefully sticking to a few investments in tried-and-true markets. Most are saying that the global economy will stay about the same for the next 12 months. So, not encouraging, maybe not discouraging, but clearly that’s affecting their outlook for their own companies’ growth prospects,” PwC chairman Dennis Nally said. “The degree of confidence across the board is really down, regardless of whether you’re in a developing market or a developed market,” he said.

It is down even in highflying economies like China and Brazil. The most upbeat country was Russia, where 66 percent of CEOs are “very confident” of revenue growth in 2013, Nally said. He called the survey results a strong message to governments that they must fix economic problems, including disputed regulations, government deficits and tax issues. “All of those are impacting CEOs’ levels of confidence to really deal with their businesses on a go-forward basis,” he said.

Uncertainty about tax and spending policies is at the root of the gloom, said John Veihmeyer, CEO of accounting firm KPMG‘s U.S. operations. He called it frustrating that U.S. government solutions “seem to be within our control” but still out of reach.

“I think we have an opportunity for the U.S. to lead the world onto a path of stronger economic footing and very robust economic recovery over the next five years,” Veihmeyer told the AP. “It’s not going to be easy. There’s going to be pain and sacrifice.”

Nearly a quarter of the CEOs surveyed plan further job cuts — yet more than half of them say they have trouble finding people with the right job skills.

Uncertainty about tax and spending policies is at the root of the gloom, said John Veihmeyer, CEO of accounting firm KPMG’s U.S. operations. He called it frustrating that U.S. government solutions “seem to be within our control” but still out of reach.

“I think we have an opportunity for the U.S. to lead the world onto a path of stronger economic footing and very robust economic recovery over the next five years,” Veihmeyer told AP. “It’s not going to be easy. There’s going to be pain and sacrifice.”

Read: http://www.thestate.com/2013/01/22/2600428/ceos-head-to-davos-more-pessimistic.html#storylink=rss#storylink=cpy