Confidence and future growth: CEOs optimistic about growth despite economic headwinds and uncertainty

Confidence and future growth: CEOs strongly optimistic

Although the economic environment remains fragile, with expected continuing uncertainty, KPMG’s 2016 Global CEO Outlook charts strong optimism among CEOs for their companies’ near-term growth.

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Although the economic environment remains fragile, with expected continuing uncertainty, KPMG’s 2016 Global CEO Outlook charts strong optimism among CEOs for their companies’ near-term growth.

There are signs that there’s slow growth in the South African economy, but the economic environment remains fragile. At first blush, the findings of KPMG’s 2016 Global CEO Outlook survey may come as a surprise.
This extensive survey revealed that CEOs in South Africa are optimistic in their outlook for the next three years for the global economy, their national economies and their companies.

This confidence is a testimony to CEOs’ resilience as leaders, and not blind optimism or unrealistic projections. “CEOs have to look ahead with confidence, see the future and the growth of their companies,” says Trevor Hoole, KPMG CEO in Southern Africa.

CEOs expect moderate business growth

While confidence is high, CEOs think that the levels of growth will be tempered, even though 72 percent of CEOs believe that their organisation’s headcount will remain the same over the next 12 months. When asked about what point in the growth cycle their industry is growing, 66 percent of the CEOs said that their industry is experiencing slow growth.

This optimism is somewhat more subdued in the short-term. The balance between CEOs' confidence and realism, however, is confirmed by the importance they attach to the global economy, naming global economic factors as having the biggest impact (14 percent) on the growth of their companies over the next three years. Some industries are expecting significant growth. Digitisation, driven by the Internet of Things and the Industrial Internet, will accelerate growth in the medium to long term.

It bodes well for the future that CEOs today are not waiting out tough times. Says Sipho Malaba, Partner and Director at KPMG in South Africa, “Whether the tide rises or falls with the economy, CEOs understand very well that they are at the helm and ultimately they can determine their company’s outcome.”

CEOs' 3-year growth predictions

   

2016 CEO Outlook

KPMG’s 2016 Global CEO Outlook study provides a vivid image of global CEOs’ expectations for business growth, the challenges they face and their strategies to chart organizational success. And this time round it includes a South African viewpoint.

 
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