Finding opportunity in uncertainty

The 2022 CEO Outlook draws on the perspectives of 1,325 global CEOs across 11 markets to provide insight into their 3-year outlook on the business and economic landscapes. The survey also reveals shifts in strategy and viewpoints from the KPMG CEO Outlook Pulse Survey, conducted ahead of the Russian government's invasion of Ukraine.

ESG dominates as one of the four key themes in this years' CEO Outlook

The report provides great findings within the key themes; economic, technology, talent and ESG.

Within ESG, Global CEOs acknowledge the importance of initiatives on their businesses, especially when questioned about ESG's impact on improving financial performance, driving growth and meeting stakeholder expectations. And this  year’s survey shows a marked jump in demand  from stakeholders — such as customers and  investors — for increased transparency.

The report also reveals that 58 percent of leaders expect a recession to be mild and short. Fourteen percent of senior executives identify a recession among the most pressing concerns today — up slightly from early 2022 (9 percent), while pandemic fatigue tops the list (15 percent).

Over the next year, more than 8 out of 10 (86 percent) global CEOs anticipate a recession to hit, with 71 percent predicting it will impact company earnings by up to 10 percent. A strong majority of senior executives believe that a recession will disrupt anticipated growth (73 percent). However, three-quarters (76 percent) have already taken precautionary steps ahead of a looming recession.

The downside of failing to meet ESG expectations

While tax is not explicitly discussed in the report as part of ESG, it is an ESG matter. Failing to meet tax-related ESG expectations can lead to the following negative outcomes.

Source: KPMG 2022 CEO Outlook

Take a closer look at each key theme


Economic outlook

CEOs are ready and prepared to weather current geopolitical and economic challenges while still anticipating long-term global growth. 


CEOs are directing digital investment to areas of their business that drive growth, with an emphasis on partnerships and preparedness.


CEOs are changing how they  support and attract talent, and their efforts are buoyed by a focus on their people and experimenting with ways of  working.


CEOs are balancing the need to  build resilient and transparent  ESG plans with the possibility of  having to pause or reconsider their  approaches.