UK CEOs most confident in Europe
The UK's chief executives are the most confident in Europe, according to PwC's 18th annual Global CEO Survey.
Three out of five UK CEOs – more than any of their European peers – believe there are more growth opportunities for their company today than three years ago.
The PwC poll found that 85 per cent of UK business leaders are confident about their company's prospects for the year ahead, slightly down from 93 per cent 12 months ago.
However, this year's survey reveals a greater divergence in optimism levels among UK CEOs, with 39 per cent "very confident" about their company's fortunes for the year, up from 27 per cent in 2014. The number not confident has doubled, however, to 15 per cent (2014: seven per cent).
Over the next three years, 95 per cent of UK business leaders are "confident" (with 52 percent "very confident") about growth prospects for their own company. This is above the 92 per cent global confidence level and, across Europe, only more Spanish CEOs (63 per cent) are "very confident" about long-term growth.
Russian CEOs have gone from the most to least optimistic in the space of 12 months. Confidence is down in other oil-producing nations such as the Middle East, Nigeria and Venezuela.
Ian Powell, chairman and senior partner of PwC UK, said: "The high levels of optimism we saw last year have been tempered by concerns about access to key skills, disruptive trends and geopolitical uncertainty. Despite more caution, there is a healthy appetite for M&A as more UK companies look to do deals overseas."