CEO confidence in Asia Pacific shaken but strong

Asia Pacific CEOs believe prospects for business growth over the next 12 months are dimming fast.

Volatility in the financial markets over the summer months took a toll on CEO confidence, with just 28% of business leaders now ‘very confident’ their organisation will see revenue growth over the next 12 months. That’s down from 46% a year ago and represents the lowest level since PwC started tracking 12-month confidence for Asia Pacific CEOs in 2012.

These are the findings from PwC's latest APEC CEO Survey 2015, conducted between 23 June and 21 August, covering 800 CEOs and industry leaders across 21 APEC economies.

But despite their dwindling confidence in revenue growth, the majority of CEOs (53%) still plan to increase investments over the next 12 months, with most of that investment (68%) planned for the APEC region.

While China, the US and Indonesia remain the main draw cards for investment opportunities, The Philippines, Vietnam and Singapore remain are attractive.

The study reveals that only 28% of business leaders are now “very confident” their organisation will see revenue growth over the next 12 months, down from 46% a year ago.

PwC apec 2015_3

“After a year of historically high foreign direct investment into developing Asian economies, APEC CEOs have become very sensitive to financial market signals and the likely impact on revenue growth,” said Dennis Nally (pictured), chairman of PwC International.

“Nonetheless, they are still expanding into new APEC locations. This gives testament to the experience they have gained in managing short-term instability and balancing this against the opportunities."

Interestingly, 66% believe advanced technologies, such as robotics, the internet of things and 3D printing, will transform manufacturing by 2020.