26 Jan 2011

CEOs' confidence back on track - survey

8:13 am on 26 January 2011

A survey of chief executives from the world's largest companies shows their business confidence is returning to levels similar to those seen before the global financial crisis.

PriceWaterhouseCoopers annual survey of global chief executives found 48% of the 1200 respondents felt very confident about growth over the next year.

The chief executive at PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Bruce Hassall says chief executives are focusing on expanding their operations and selling more in fast growing Asia.

Mr Hassall says firms are working more closely with key customers in regions like Asia on developing new products, and he also highlights the need to work with cash-strapped governments to improve aging infrastructure.

A difficulty in finding skilled workers also emerged in the survey, and Mr Hassall says that also applies in New Zealand.

With the Government driving much of the economy in the past two years, he says it's time firms did more to carry the load, including greater co-operation among themselves, and collaboration with Government research organisations.

Nearly three quarters of CEOs identified uncertainty about the future direction of global growth as a threat to their business, while high Government debt and too much red tape also rated highly.