Bosses at Britain’s biggest companies are investing in hiring and growth this year despite concerns about rising global risks, according to a major new survey out this week from PwC.
Two-thirds of UK chief executives are planning to increase the size of their workforce and 64 per cent are planning mergers and acquisitions in the next 12 months, according to PwC’s global annual chief executive survey.
PwC first released the survey’s findings tonight at the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos. The survey is based on responses from over 1,400 global company heads, including 105 UK chief executives.
Eighty-four per cent of UK chief executives polled said they were confident about their company’s prospects for the year ahead, with a third saying they were “very” confident.
British business leaders led the league tables when it came to hiring plans, with a larger share saying they plan to increase the size of their workforce this year than in any other European country.
PwC UK chairman Ian Powell said the results showed UK chief executives are “putting people front and centre of their plans for future growth”.
“It is encouraging that UK business leaders are holding their nerve against the uncertain global economic and geopolitical backdrop by planning to invest in creating new jobs and developing their people,” he added. “This longer-term investment should position UK companies well in the future.”
UK chief executives surveyed were not entirely optimistic, however, with more than half of respondents saying they see more threats to their business today than three years ago. Over-regulation was seen as the top threat to firms, followed by geopolitical uncertainty and cyber security concerns.