Danny McCance 11 Jun 2019 12:15pm

UK CEOs concerned over global economy

Despite UK CEOs’ lack of confidence in the global economy, confidence in the UK’s growth prospects has increased by a third and CEOs from the world’s largest economies were also confident

Fewer than half of UK CEOs (43%) are confident in the global economy, down from 77% last year, according to Big Four firm KPMG.

However, 87% are confident in the UK’s growth prospects over the next three years – a 22% increase from the previous year.

Meanwhile, CEOs from the world’s three largest economies – the US, China and Japan – said they are now more likely to invest in the UK post Brexit, according to Big Four firm KPMG.

According to the firm’s latest CEO Outlook survey, 76% of CEOs surveyed from the US – the UK’s top investor – said they are more likely to invest in the UK post Brexit, along with 64% from India, 54% from Japan and 53% from China.

However, 78% from the Netherlands said they are less likely to invest in the UK as did 62% from Spain, 56% from Italy, 54% from Germany and 44% from France.

Bill Michael, chairman and senior partner at KPMG UK, said that these are testing times for UK CEOs as continued Brexit uncertainty has put pressure on investment decisions, emerging technologies have been causing disruption and geopolitical conditions have added complexity to trade.

“Yet CEOs are resilient – there is life after Brexit. They are optimistic about their own organisation’s prospects, the prospects for future economic growth in this country and the contribution they can make,” Michael said.

“These results demonstrate we must have faith in business and a market-based economy as the best way to deal with the economic and social challenges of today,” he added.

The survey showed that CEOs thought the three biggest risks to growth in 2019 were emerging technologies (21%), climate change (20%) and a return to territorialism (18%).