Study: CEOs’ Confidence Up—Concern for Shift in Consumer Behavior

With the belief that a prolonged recession is behind them, nearly 40% of CEOs plan to increase their workforce this year, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers ’ annual global CEO survey. The study finds that CEO confidence for future growth has bounced back from gloomier prospects of a year ago. Other findings include:

• 81% of CEOs worldwide are confident of their prospects for the next 12 months, while only 18% said they remained pessimistic. In 2009, 64% said they were confident and 35% were pessimistic;

• One in four CEOs believe their industry’s reputation has been tarnished by the downturn. However, 61% of CEOs in the banking and capital markets sector said there has been a fall in trust in their industry;

• Nearly half of CEOs are concerned that the recession caused a permanent shift in consumer behavior. Most say that consumers will place greater importance on a company’s social reputation (64%), spending less and saving more (63%) or being more active in product development (60%).

Source: PricewaterhouseCoopers