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CEOs back to pre-pandemic levels of confidence, KPMG survey shows

LONDON (Reuters) – The bosses of the world’s biggest companies are back to their pre-pandemic levels of confidence in the global economy’s prospects and most expect to make acquisitions to boost growth, a survey showed on Wednesday.

While uncertainty remained due to the Delta variant of COVID-19, 60% of corporate leaders were confident about the global economy over the next three years, up from 42% in a similar survey in early 2021, accountancy firm KPMG said.

Almost nine out of 10 senior executives said they were seeking out takeover deals over the next three years.

“Despite the continued uncertainty around the pandemic, CEOs are increasingly confident that the global economy is coming back strong,” Bill Thomas, KPMG’s global chairman and chief executive, said.

CEOs saw cyber crime, climate change and supply chain risks as the biggest threats to growth, the survey showed.

More than half said their supply chains had come under stress as a result of the pandemic.

Almost 80% said a proposed global minimum tax system was of “significant concern” regarding their growth goals.

In contrast to August 2020, when more than two thirds of respondents said they planned to cut their office space because of the pandemic, only 21% in the new survey said they were planning to downsize.

Almost 40% had implemented a hybrid work model for staff with most employees work remotely two or three days a week.

KPMG surveyed 1,325 chief executives of companies with annual revenues of more than $500 million in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Spain, Britain and the United States between June 29 and Aug. 6.


(Reporting by William Schomberg, editing by Andy Bruce)