A survey of 400 CEOs found that 77 percent are very confident in the growth prospects of their companies over the next three years.
NEW YORK — A new survey of 400 US chief executive officers has found that 77 percent are “very confident” in the growth prospects of their companies over the next three years, up from 46 percent a year ago. The finding was part of “Growing Pains: 2018 US CEO Outlook,” a report published by KPMG.

Despite the confidence shown by CEOs in their growth prospects, only moderate growth is predicted for US companies. According to KPMG, 51 percent of US CEOs said they expect top-line revenue growth to be less than 2 percent over the next three years, while 49 percent expect growth to be in the 2 percent to 5 percent range.

Digging deeper into growth strategies, the KPMG survey found that among US CEOs, 23 percent are pursuing strategic alliances, 23 percent mergers and acquisitions, 22 percent organic growth, 18 percent joint ventures and 15 percent outsourcing.

“Riding the tailwinds of tax reform and regulatory relief, US CEOs are primed to aggressively pursue growth through M&A activity, overseas expansion, and investments in innovation and collaboration,” said Lynne Doughtie, chairman and CEO of KPMG US. “They are highly confident in their business prospects and their ability to both disrupt the sectors in which they operate and handle risks head-on.”

To achieve their growth strategies CEOs are planning several actions relating to innovation and collaboration, the survey said. Potential actions include setting up accelerator or incubator programs for start-up firms (46 percent), making products and services available via online providers (43 percent) and partnering with third-party providers (42 percent).

Asked to identify the greatest threats to their organization’s growth, the CEOs surveyed said cybersecurity risk, at 33 percent, is the top concern. Other threats included emerging/disruptive technology risk (20 percent), operational risk (14 percent), environmental/climate change risk (7 percent), return to territorialism (7 percent), and regulatory risk (5 percent).

“Some are still in a mode of implementing foundational elements of their programs, the basic blocking and tackling activities that are required to achieve a base level of security,” said Tony Buffomante, leader for cyber security services at KPMG US “But, we are also seeing a lot more discussions today around longer-term sustainability of cyber risk mitigation versus point security projects.”

KPMG is a professional services firms, providing innovative business solutions and audit, tax, and advisory services to many of the world’s largest organizations. For the full report, click here.