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Canadian CEOs more optimistic than most about future outlook as they bet big on tech and ESG in the wake of COVID-19

The 2020 KPMG CEO Outlook pulse survey finds the world's most senior executives are using this unparalleled moment in history to shift their strategies and enhance relationships with their employees and society at large.

Though quite a bit more optimistic about their companies' growth outlook than their global counterparts, Canadian CEOs are still committing to meaningful change for the future. With big bets being made on technology as a means for growth and a reaffirmed focus on Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) efforts, Canadian CEOs will have to lead with purpose and invest strategically in order to meet their three-year targets.

This latest CEO Outlook study highlights the following trends and developments:

2020 KPMG CEO Outlook

Source: 2020 KPMG CEO Outlook, COVID-19 Special Edition, KPMG International.

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About the survey

KPMG International's CEO Outlook is now in its third year. This year's study, as in previous years, provides an in-depth three-year outlook of global executives on enterprise, social issues and economic growth. It also includes new and changing questions to capture CEOs' outlooks on the evolving dynamics stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.

KPMG initially surveyed 1,300 CEOs in January and February, before many key markets were beginning to feel the full impact of the pandemic crisis. In July/August (between 6 July to 5 August 2020), KPMG International conducted a follow-up survey of 315 chief executives across the globe to understand how CEO thinking has evolved during the crisis. In both instances, a third of the companies surveyed have more than US$10B in annual revenue, with no responses from companies under US$500M.

The January/February survey included leaders from 11 key markets (Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Spain, UK and US) and 11 key industry sectors (asset management, automotive, banking, consumer and retail, energy, infrastructure, insurance, life sciences, manufacturing, technology, and telecommunications). The recently conducted pulse survey included CEOs across the industries mentioned above and from eight key markets (Australia, Canada, China, France, Italy, Japan, UK and US). NOTE: some figures may not add up to 100 percent due to rounding.