In a survey in the field from November 5 to November 10, executives from around the world indicate that many companies are surviving the global economic turmoil fairly well. And though executives are quite pessimistic about broad economic trends, some say their companies are finding opportunities. Respondents also spell out what they think governments should do to help.
In a survey launched the day after the US presidential election, executives from around the world indicate that they expect 2009 to open with a global recession and continuing high volatility in equity markets. They also believe that financial markets will remain more stalled than liquid. And a majority expect their country’s GDP to contract next year—most predict by 2 percent or less.
Nonetheless, many executives say their companies are holding their ground, though some are hard hit. Half of all respondents expect their companies’ profits to stay stable or increase this fiscal year, and some are finding opportunity in turmoil—by entering markets where competitors have weakened, hiring talent that would otherwise not be available, and seeking M&A opportunities. Smaller and private companies generally see themselves in a somewhat better position than larger and public ones. Most companies across the board have not sought external funding since mid-September because they haven’t needed it, and, although few expect to hire in the rest of 2008, only about a third expect to decrease their workforce.
Looking ahead, executives say that governments should take some limited, globally coordinated steps on regulation and fiscal policy, invest in infrastructure, and support a range of industries beyond the financial sector.