Davos survey shows CEOs confident revenues will climb

Davos, Jan 26 | Updated: Jan 27 2005, 05:30am hrs
Nine of 10 chief executive officers expect their revenue to rise this year, lifted by global economic growth near a three-decade high, according to a survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.

The New York-based accounting firm found that 91% of 1,391 CEOs it interviewed were very or somewhat confident about the next 12 months, the survey released today at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, showed. Its up from 84% in 2003 and 72% in 2002.

This is three years weve seen this confidence growing, PricewaterhouseCoopers chief executive officer Samuel A DiPiazza Jr said in an interview. Were seeing a distinct increase in a view toward capital investment, additional facilities and hiring people. Its a very optimistic view over the next 12 months.

Global economic growth will probably reach 4.2%, following a 5% advance in 2004, which was the biggest since 1976. The average in the past decade is 3.8%, the International Monetary Fund says. The expansion will probably spur a third year of gains in stocks and push bonds lower, according to surveys by Bloomberg News.

The mood for this year is reasonably positive, said Pascal Blanque, chief economist at Credit Agricole, Frances biggest bank by assets. We seem to be in pretty good shape. Blanque, who will attend the forum in Davos this week, expects US growth to slow to 3.6% this year from 4.5%.

More than 2,250 policy makers, executives, and economists are gathering at the Swiss ski resort for the next five days. U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair, French President Jacques Chirac, Microsoft chairman Bill Gates and Deutsche Bank AG CEO Josef Ackermann will attend the annual meeting, along with European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet and US treasury undersecretary John Taylor.

The chief executives said in the Pricewaterhouse survey the biggest threat to their businesses was excessive regulation, ahead of low-cost competition, oil prices that have risen 42% the past year and the loss of talented employees.