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Growing pains: 2018 Global CEO Outlook

Growing pains: 2018 Global CEO Outlook

The 2018 Global CEO Outlook finds chief executives optimistic about the economy and excited by the growth opportunities offered by disruption. At the same time, CEOs are managing their exposure to a range of headwinds. Driving growth will require CEOs to combine equal amounts of resourcefulness and realism.


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For our fourth annual Global CEO Outlook, we reached out to 1,300 CEOs of large companies from around the world to get their views of the highest-priority opportunities and most daunting challenges they and their businesses face. As in prior years, we’ve seen how quickly the world is changing for today’s business leaders, and what this means for how they are leading and growing their organisations.

Exploring a broad range of business drivers, risks and pain points, this year’s report offers insights into how new and evolving forces are continuing to raise the bar for CEOs in all countries and all sectors.

In 2017, we found CEOs excited about the future: they saw technology-driven change as a significant opportunity to disrupt their sector. That optimism continues in 2018, with business leaders showing great faith in the economic environment, both nationally and globally.

However, that optimism is tempered by caution and realism, with a clear recognition that, in order to grow their businesses, they need to respond to an ever-expanding spectrum of complex challenges and ‘growing pains’. While the CEOs surveyed still predict that their businesses will grow in the coming year, forecasts are lower than last year and a majority say they need to hit growth targets before they start hiring new people.

Reviewing the results and the insights from these senior executives, you can’t help but be struck by the sheer volume and depth of the issues CEOs are facing and how they are personally focusing their efforts as leaders to  face them.

© 2020 KPMG Channel Islands Limited, a Jersey company and a member firm of the KPMG network of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”), a Swiss entity. All rights reserved.

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