A tale of two CEOs

Our CEO Confidence Index March Quarter 2022 reveals that after two years of strategic responses to external factors, CEOs are charting their own paths to business success in 2022.

Responses were gathered from 135 of our SME CEOs from a diverse range of industries about their current levels of confidence in the economy.

Emerging from a challenging period, CEOs have tempered optimism and strong aspirations for the year ahead. Two patterns in approach have surfaced as external factors and restrictions have subsided. Some are taking incremental, strategic steps forward, with a sense that the worst is behind them. Others are driving forward with confidence, charting their own fast-moving pathway.

  • Just over 40% of respondents feel overall economic conditions have improved in the last 12 months
  • Nearly half of respondents expect economic conditions to improve in the next 12 months

CEOs and business leaders did well to manage the challenges of COVID-19. Those who were agile in their approach are now able to leverage their hard work to embark on new initiatives.

In the year ahead, many organisations remain focused on increasing their employee headcount. Those seeking to secure new talent are aware that they will need to be creative in a competitive landscape.

The results are summarised below.

About the CEO Confidence Index

The Executive Connection CEO Confidence Index is a survey measuring the economic outlook and sentiment of Australian and New Zealand business leaders of Mid-market organisations. The survey measures the following indexes:

  • Views about economic conditions compared to a year ago
  • Expectations for economic conditions in the year ahead
  • Business expectations for the next 12 months on:
    − Fixed capital expenditure
    − Sales revenues
    − Profitability
    − Prices for their products and services
    − Total headcount

The survey also identifies the challenges and opportunities faced by leaders including business operations, leadership, talent and technology.  Members are CEOs and business leaders of businesses with up to 200 employees and annual revenue of between $2 million and $100+ million per year. The results provide insight into the challenges and opportunities faced by leaders and their confidence in the Australian and New Zealand business environment as well as insights into key issues such as political leadership, access to funding and market conditions.

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