Survey: CEOs shrug off business blues
Wednesday 8 Aug 2018NZ CEOs shrug off wider business blues in latest KPMG survey - New Zealand chief executives seem more upbeat in KPMG's latest CEO Outlook Survey Report than respondents in other recent business surveys that are showing sentiment souring as firms fret over the Labour-led government.
KPMG NZ chief executive Godfrey Boyce said the survey pointed to a "slight softening" in confidence but he didn't view this "as a faltering of confidence – but more of a realistic re-balancing". Given that New Zealand has come through a period of robust growth, "a little tempering of confidence is both realistic and expected," he said.
He did note, however, bedding in a new government with new policies "inevitably brings a level of uncertainty."
According to the report, CEOs see rising global protectionism as the greatest threat to growth and have regressed on digital transformation.
The past year has seen “global vagaries continuing to play out with a return to territorialism in response to Brexit and the US government’s protectionist trade direction," said Boyce.
A total of 68 percent identified a return to territorialism as the greatest threat to their organisation’s growth. New Zealand's reliance on export-led growth may underpin that nervousness, particularly if a trade war between the US and China breaks out, said Boyce.
"Barriers to trade raise the costs of export and damage competitiveness. This can impact grower returns and undermine growth, with knock-on effects on jobs and regional economies," Zespri International chief executive Dan Mathieson told the KPMG survey.
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