Only 36% of CEOs worldwide are 'very confident' of their company's growth prospects in the next 12 months, according to Pricewaterhouse Cooper's (PwC) 16th Annual Global CEO Survey. That's down from 40% who were 'very confident' of short term growth last year and 48% in 2011, but still above the lows of 31% and 21% in 2010 and 2009.
Looking at the economy generally, 28% of CEOs say the global economy will decline further in 2013, and only 18% predict economic improvement; 52% say it will stay the same. While the CEOs' outlook remains gloomy, the forecast is an improvement on last year when 48% of CEOs predicted the global economy would decline in 2012.
At the country level, confidence varied widely: CEOs are most confident in Russia where 66% are very confident of revenue growth in 2013, closely followed by India (63%) and Mexico (62%). They were trailed by countries including Brazil (44%), China (40%), Germany (31%), the U.S. (30%), the UK (22%), Japan (18%), France (13%) and finally Korea, where only 6% of CEOs are very confident of revenue growth in the year ahead.
Longer term, overall CEO confidence remained stable; 46% of CEOs worldwide said they were very confident of growth prospects in the next three years, about the same as last year. CEOs in Africa and the Middle East were most confident of long term growth, at 62% and 56% respectively. In North America, 51% were 'very confident' of long term growth, while 52% in Asia Pacific were very confident. Long term confidence was weakest in Europe at 34%.