What is the crisis doing to us?

This is one of the central questions that psychologists, economists and political scientists have been dealing with for months.

Now there is an indicator that could provide a spectacular answer.

After a year of pandemic with lockdown and privation, there is a massive outburst of optimism.

This is suggested by a survey of global business leaders (CEOs) at the auditing and consulting firm PwC.

According to this, three quarters of CEOs look to the future with confidence, more than ever before.

76 percent of the 5,000 executives surveyed expect global economic growth to improve in the next twelve months.

It's not just a new record.

The change in mood is also more striking than ever before.

In the previous year, only one in five had been optimistic about the future.

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Twelve months ago, more than 50 percent of CEOs were doing minor.

And that wasn't because of the pandemic.

The survey was carried out long before the virus crisis broke out for the World Economic Forum in Davos in January.

At that time, the business elite feared global trade conflicts and increasing state regulation that made planning impossible.

In addition, the economic upswing, which had lasted for a decade, was seen as getting on in years.

Even records on the stock exchanges could not make business leaders optimistic last year.

So now the big, powerful change of mood.

It is noteworthy that German CEOs are even more optimistic in a global comparison: 80 percent of German executives expect an increase in global economic growth in the coming year.

Source: WORLD infographic


The swing compared to the previous year is no less than 60 percentage points.

Only eleven percent believe in a decline in global economic growth, after 68 percent in the previous year.

“The CEOs see light at the end of the tunnel.

I agree with this positive attitude, ”said Ulrich Störk, Head of PwC Germany, on the results of his CEO survey.

"Those who take advantage of the opportunities that the crisis offers will emerge powerfully - perhaps more strongly than ever before."

The study by PwC, which has otherwise been published for a good two decades at the beginning of the World Economic Forum in Davos, is an important barometer of opinion among the elite - and thus an indicator of growth and prosperity.

If the CEOs are optimistic and look to the future with confidence, they invest in people and machines.

Source: WORLD infographic


Accordingly, the mood of the board members is a good leading indicator for the global economy.

And PwC is not alone with its study.

Other surveys of executives also yield record optimism.

The US CEO Outlook Index is at one of the highest levels since records began.

It is based on a survey of 170 CEOs of the largest American companies who have come together in the Business Roundtable.

"We are experiencing one of the sharpest and fastest recoveries in the history of our survey," says Joshua Bolten, who heads the business roundtable.

The optimism of business leaders is also reflected in the financial markets.

The stock exchanges mark new record highs almost every day.

If there are any worries on the part of stock marketers, it is that the economy will overheat, combined with a return of inflation and thus rising interest rates.

81 percent are optimistic about their own company

In this country in particular, there is almost emotional exuberance among the business leaders who are holding out the prospect of something like the golden twenties.

When looking at their own company, CEOs in Germany are much more optimistic than last year.

81 percent are confident that their own company will grow in the next twelve months.

In the previous year it was only 20 percent.

When looking at the three-year outlook for one's own company, the confidence is even greater.

In the previous year, only 31 percent of the CEOs surveyed in Germany stated that they were confident about growth in the next three years, this year the figure was 92 percent.

That is even above the global average of 88 percent.

This is all the more astonishing as last year the Germans were still among the pessimists.

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Also positive for location D: Germany continues to see foreign countries as the third most important growth driver.

Only the US and China are seen as more important by the CEOs.


However, this is not a cause for complacency.

German CEOs are most concerned about possible overregulation.

A full 87 percent see a risk in constantly new laws, requirements and regulations.

In the previous year the value was only 79 percent.

Cyber ​​attacks have also climbed up the worry scale.

83 percent of the executives surveyed fear the consequences of hacker attacks, compared with 81 percent in the survey a good year ago.

Pandemics and the shortage of skilled workers are also nerve-wracking.

The fear of trade conflicts or geopolitical uncertainties has clearly lost importance.

Concern about the effects of climate change and environmental damage has declined sharply compared to the previous year: Only 58 percent of German CEOs rated these issues as worrying, compared with 78 percent in the previous year’s survey.

In addition, 46 percent of CEOs stated that they explicitly consider climate change and environmental damage in their strategic risk management.

This puts the German CEOs in second place in a global comparison, behind Japan (49 percent).

Worldwide, 40 percent of CEOs agreed with this statement.

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