Weathering a squall of uncertainty | KPMG | CA

Weathering a squall of uncertainty

Weathering a squall of uncertainty

C-Suite 44: Canadian business leaders discuss the impact of Brexit on the EU, and other major shifts in the global marketplace.

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Weathering a squall of uncertainty

Navigating and capitalizing on key disturbances localized in the EU, China and the US is top of mind for Canadian executives in the 44th edition of the Quarterly C-Suite Survey. The aftermath of Brexit, the possibility of stronger trade relations with China and an uncertain political environment for business in the US have left Canadian businesses cautious across all industries, while views of the Canadian economy remain modestly positive for this quarter.

Top Highlights

The implications of Brexit on Europe

  • The C-Suite is not very worried about “Brexit”, with many noting the EU will bear the brunt of the initial negative impacts. There is, however, concern regarding the impact on trading patterns and global economic instability/uncertainty – most (57%) executives agreed more states are likely to leave the EU in the near future.
  • Only 17% believe Europe is a very important market for their business. This is comparatively less important than the Chinese market (25%) and significantly less important than the North American market (55% saying the US is very important).

International trade including the Canada-China trade relationship

  • Most in C-Suite are not worried about the current state of the Canada-China relationship, as 57% think relations with China over the last three years are as good as they could be
  • C-Suite executives believe a focus on free trade and bilateral trade resulting in better deals for Canada should be top of mind for government’s dealings with China
  • 70% support continuing to place limits on the ability of Chinese State-owned enterprises to invest in strategic Canadian industries such as the oil sands

Global economic outlook

  • 37% of executives are very worried about the implications of politics on trade
  • 42% expect the “political environment for business” will worsen over the next five years in Europe, and 38% expect it will worsen in the US over the same period
  • 23% of C-Suite are very concerned about Europe’s banks or a potential correction in equities markets (18%)
  • C-Suite remains optimistic about overall US economy, however there are concerns about a correction in US stock markets

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