Companies’ heads positive about the growth of economy

The recent PwC survey suggests that CEOs in Slovakia fear economic downturn and further waves of COVID-19.

Illustrative stock photoIllustrative stock photo (Source: Sme)
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The chief executive officers of companies active in Slovakia believe more in the growth of economy and their own firms.

After they expressed a record pessimism at the turn of the years, and even before the coronavirus pandemic outbreak, the share of CEOs who expect the global economic growth to accelerate tripled in September.

Moreover, CEOs are more optimistic about the revenues generated by their own companies, as stems from the survey of the PwC consulting company.

The survey was conducted in cooperation with Forbes magazine for an 11th time, with respondents being addressed in two waves: from December 5, 2019 to January 31, 2020, and from August 31, 2020 to September 21, 2020. While 143 CEOs participated in the first wave, 105 were addressed in the second.

Most respondents continue with investment plans

As much as 84 percent of CEOs believe in their companies’ growth. In January, the share was only 71 percent.

They strongly believe that their firms will manage to secure safe working environment, maintain talents, control their employees’ well-being and morals, and harmonise the needs of all parties involved. A slightly lower share believes they can find new sources of revenues, though, the TASR newswire reported.

At the same time, three-quarters of respondents said in the September survey that they want to implement projects to increase the efficiency of their production or operation.

As much as 62 percent of CEOs in Slovakia did not think about halting the planned investments. They want mostly to speed up automation and introduce new forms of work, change the safety measures and requirements for the workplace, and improve work at distance.

On the other hand, 38 percent of respondents said they consider cancelling or postponing the investments. They would limit capital expenditures, not invest in hiring new employees and not increase operational costs, TASR reported.

Knowledge and education important

The PwC survey also suggests that CEOs are most afraid of the global economic downturn, the new COVID-19 pandemic wave and the drop in consumer trust.

Their fears are different from the beginning of the year, when they were mostly afraid of populism, the increase in the tax burden, tax uncertainly and protectionism.

“If the pandemic taught us something, it is that only knowledge, respecting facts and the quality of education can successfully help move our companies and all society forward,” said Věra Výtvarová, country managing partner at PwC Slovensko, as quoted by TASR.

The respondents also commented on investments from the EU recovery fund package, underlining measures to support smart society. This corresponds with the results of previous surveys among CEOs when the respondents picked the quality of education as the biggest threat to doing business in Slovakia.

Related story:Investmet Guide: Well-arranged information about the economy, labour market, investor support, legislation, and real estate as well as investment opportunities in Slovakia. Read more 

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