Economy

Executives look to growth to counter risk

Despite significant risks and uncertainty, executives remain bullish about growth strategies.
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Who says it all has to be all gloom and doom? Even with so much economic ambiguity in the air, executives are focusing their business strategy on growth and, according to a recent survey, fewer than a third are concerned about recession as a “serious risk.”

Executives are starting to see positive signs in the economy, with unemployment falling in July and inflation flattening, and that optimism “may be shifting from an active concern about the business environment to focusing on growth,” according to PwC’s latest Pulse Survey.

When asked how they were responding to the current business environment, 83% of the more than 700 executives surveyed said they were focusing on growth. The survey found that 70% of respondents were exploring acquisitions as a path to growth, and increasing their internal investments in digital transformation, IT, cybersecurity, and customer experience.

“After managing unparalleled unpredictability throughout the past two years, there is cautious optimism about navigating today’s economic, social, and geopolitical uncertainty, but it’s important to note that executives continue to have many risks on their radar,” said Kathryn Kaminsky, vice chair of US trust solutions and co-leader at PwC, on a conference call last week.

That’s not to say that executives are ignoring the risks that are still out there. Cybersecurity topped the list of serious risks business leaders say they are facing, with 40% saying “more frequent and/or broader cyberattacks” was their most serious risk concern. Talent acquisition and retention (38%), rising production costs (34%), supply-chain disruptions (34%), and an inflation-driven drop in consumer demand (31%) round out the top five risk concerns, according to the survey.—DA


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