Published: 22 Jan 2013 22:38 GMT+01:00 | Print version
Updated: 22 Jan 2013 22:38 GMT+01:00
Top business leaders are less gloomy about the prospects for the global economy than last year but hardly brimming with confidence for 2013, according to a major survey released on the eve of the Davos forum.
International chief executives are also less confident than last year about growth prospects for their own companies, according to the survey of 1,330 CEOs conducted by financial services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Only 28 percent of CEOs said they expected the global economy to decline further in 2013, against 48 percent last year, while 52 percent expected it to remain stable.
But only 36 percent said they were "very confident" in their company's growth prospects in the next 12 months, down from 40 percent last year and 48 percent in 2011.
"It's a little bit more positive than last year" in terms of predictions for the global economy, the chairman of PricewaterhouseCoopers International, Dennis Nally, said at the release of the survey.
"CEOs are saying we're seeing another year where the economy is reluctant to recover," he said.
"It's not all doom and gloom, but we see an economy that is struggling to get traction."
Despite steps to shore up faith in the eurozone, Western European business leaders were the most pessimistic among the surveyed CEOs, with just 22 percent saying they were very confident of growth, down from 27 percent last year.
North American, Asia Pacific and African CEOs were also less confident, but Latin American executives bucked the trend, with 53 percent expressing confidence in the short-term, up slightly from last year.
For individual countries, Russian executives were the most confident, with 66 percent saying they had high expectations of revenue growth.
Asked about their concrete concerns, topping the list was continued uncertainty over economic growth, with 81 percent of business leaders concerned.
Other top worries included fiscal deficits, "over-regulation", lack of stability on capital markets and "the increasing tax burden", PwC said.
The World Economic Forum is a global gathering of top political and business leaders at the ski resort of Davos that starts officially on Wednesday.
However, related activities got under way in the mountain town on Tuesday with the Crystal Award Ceremony.
Among those honoured at the ceremony was South African actress Charlize Theron, a noted HIV/AIDS campaigner.
Reviving the global economy and the conflicts in Syria and Mali will top the agenda as world leaders and business chiefs meet at the annual gathering of international power brokers.
The Swiss Army has mobilized 3,300 soldiers to ward off trouble at the Davos summit, which typically attracts demonstrators.
A 40-year-old man was sentenced on Wednesday to life in prison, 15 years after he killed a 50-year-old gay taxi driver in his Geneva apartment by stabbing him 47 times with a knife . READ () »
Swiss lawmakers rejected on Wednesday a deal proposed by Washington to expose American tax dodgers and halt a raft a US lawsuits provided that Swiss banks that helped stash the cash pay massive fines. READ () »
Switzerland's senate on Wednesday again backed a deal with Washington to expose US tax dodgers and fine Swiss banks which helped hide their money, a day after G8 leaders agreed to chase cheats and corporate fiddles. READ () »
When I lost my job in Zurich three months ago, I felt like the world was collapsing around me. I felt inadequate and angry, and had a sense of shame about becoming unemployed in a foreign country. READ () »
At least four drowning deaths were reported in Switzerland on Tuesday amid the country’s continuing heatwave, which is drawing throngs of bathers to the country’s rivers and lakes. READ () »
The world's largest fully solar-powered boat, a Swiss vessel called "Turanor PlanetSolar," docked in New York on Tuesday during a mission to study the effects of climate change on the Gulf Stream current. READ () »
Swiss champion football team FC Basel may be in danger of losing one of its top players, striker Jacques Zoua. READ () »
Students at one of Zurich’s largest secondary schools were sent home on Tuesday after seniors trashed parts of the building in what was described in news reports as a “graduation prank”. READ () »
The last mountain pass highway route in Switzerland was finally cleared of snow on Tuesday as most of the country continued to swelter in a heatwave with record-breaking temperatures. READ () »
Britain's Serious Fraud Office on Tuesday said that former UBS trader Tom Hayes had become the first person to be charged in connection with its probe into the Libor rate-rigging scandal that has rocked the banking sector. READ () »