Big Four

60% of CEOs optimistic about economy, KPMG finds

The KPMG CEO outlook revealed that CEOs are increasingly confident that the global economy is coming back strong

60% of leaders (58% in the UK) are confident about the global economy’s growth prospects over the next three years, up from 42% in January/February, according to a recent study by KPMG.

The KPMG 2021 CEO outlook, which asked more than 1,300 global CEOs  – including 150 in the UK – about their strategies and outlook over a three-year horizon found that eight out of 10 global executives said they are ready to make an acquisition in the next three years. 

Meanwhile, just 21% of global CEOs – 14% in the UK – confirmed that they are planning to downsize, or have already downsized, their organisation’s physical footprint.

Meanwhile 37% of global and UK executives have implemented a hybrid model of working for their staff, where most employees work remotely two–three days a week.

The prospect of a stronger global economy is also leading CEOs to invest in expansion and business transformation, with 69% of senior executives (67% in the UK) identifying inorganic methods (e.g. joint ventures, M&A and strategic alliances) as their organisation’s main strategy for growth.

Bill Thomas, global chairman and CEO, KPMG, said: “Despite the continued uncertainty around the pandemic, CEOs are increasingly confident that the global economy is coming back strong. 

“This confidence has put leadership in an aggressive growth stance. While inorganic growth strategies are a priority, CEOs are also looking to expand organically and continue to assess the future of work to ensure they can attract top talent.”

Jon Holt, chief executive of KPMG in the UK, added: “After a difficult 18 months, it’s encouraging to see CEOs in the UK and globally thinking about growth and investment for the future with renewed confidence and optimism. 

“CEOs have had to pivot their business strategies to face into many uncertainties brought by the pandemic, and now they are looking to move their plans from resilience to expansion as the economy bounces back.”

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