CEO Confidence High On Growth Outlook

89% Expect Their Companies Will See Improved Sales

Counselor ConfidenceA new survey released by PricewaterhouseCoopers shows that U.S. CEOs are increasingly confident about corporate growth and a stronger global economy in 2014. Among 162 CEO respondents, 89% expect their companies will report improved sales this year and 40% predict international economic gains. Meanwhile, the biggest threat to revenue and economic improvements, according to CEOs surveyed, is domestic fiscal policy.

“Uncertainty is still an overarching theme for all CEOs, with tax and regulatory policies among the top concerns,” wrote Bob Moritz, PricewaterhouseCooper’s U.S. chairman, in a report. “This uncertainty continues to make it difficult for businesses to manage costs, and thus to invest.”

Main concerns include growing debt burdens, overregulation and higher taxes – issues U.S. CEOs worry about more than their colleagues abroad. Among all 1,200 international CEOs interviewed, 44% believe the global economy will strengthen in 2014, an 18% survey rise compared to last year. Just 4% of U.S. CEOs think the global economy will weaken this year, PricewaterhouseCoopers said.

In another key finding, fewer U.S. CEOs think countries like Brazil and China will drive their company’s growth in the near term. More U.S. CEOs are instead pinning sales hopes on the recovering economies of European nations – a notion supported by sentiment among business leaders in Western Europe. PricewaterhouseCoopers data shows optimism for growth among Western European CEOs jumped to 30% this year, up 22% from 2013.