2017 Global CEO Outlook

2017 Global CEO Outlook

Business leaders have a positive outlook for the future and see disruption as an opportunity.


According to KPMG's 2017 Global CEO Outlook, an annual survey of more than a thousand CEOs worldwide, most business leaders remain confident about a global economic recovery. More than six out of ten CEOs see disruption as an opportunity rather than a threat to their company. One remarkable element in the 2017 Outlook is the increased impact of the geopolitical landscape on CEOs' choices and decisions.

KPMG's annual survey shows that 65% of CEOs are confident about global economic growth in the next three years. Their optimism is slightly less pronounced than last year, when 80% of respondents had a positive outlook on the future.

Some other key findings:

  • More than six out of ten CEOs (65%) see disruption mainly as an opportunity rather than a threat. Three out of four CEOs (74%) say that their company has to respond to this within the industry. 
  • More than eight out of ten CEOs (83%) have great confidence in their companies' growth prospects in the next three years.
  • Almost seven out of ten CEOs (68%) say they are developing their skills and personal capabilities.

The key risks CEOs mentioned this year have also changed this year:

  • One of the key concerns is reputational and brand damage. Although this did not even appear in the top 10 risks of 2016, it is the third most important concern of 2017. 
  • Cyber security was seen as the most important risk of 2016, but has now fallen to fifth place this year. This mainly indicates that companies have pushed up their cyber security efforts: 42% of CEOs claim their company can respond adequately to this risk. This figure is well up on last year's 25%.

Geopolitical challenges also seem to have an impact on CEOs' choices and decisions:


  • 43% of CEOs indicate that the changing pace of globalisation and protectionism are affecting their companies' global footprint. 
  • More than half (52%) say that the political landscape has a bigger impact on their companies than in previous years.
  • Almost one in three (31%) think that there will be more protectionist policies in their countries.

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