The corporate future appears to be bright for the year ahead according to a survey of business executives in 30 countries.
Most are expecting 2018 to bring more revenue, increased profits, better productivity and a boost to capital investment.
Although 53% of respondents to Deloitte’s survey said there was uncertainty surrounding their future business prospects, almost half are planning to hire more workers in the coming year.
"The optimism of private companies worldwide reflects an economic alignment taking hold for the first time in years," said Mark Whitmore, Deloitte Private Global leader, Deloitte Canada. "In the face of increased uncertainty, private companies seem to be leveraging their inherent agility to gain a competitive edge."
Global markets forecast to grow
Revenues from global markets are expected to deliver for corporates, the survey shows.
At least some portion of revenue is derived from international markets for 79% of respondents’ businesses with 43% deriving a quarter or more. Only 10% of executives said they expect international revenue to decline.
Tech and talent are key investments
Businesses will be investing in technology to ride the storm of disruption, with 62% citing efficiency, 46% customer service, 45% to facilitate growth, and 37% for research and development.
However, tech isn’t the only area that businesses expect to invest. Talent remains key and will only be enhanced by the benefits that technology allows.
Executives are planning to invest in talent acquisition, training and leadership programs.
Geopolitics remain a concern
For leaders in the Americas, economic policies in their own countries are the main concerns for growth while those in Europe prioritize talent acquisition and Asia Pacific execs worry about the cost of raw materials.
Across all regions though, there is concern over geopolitics as a risk to growth. This is followed by market disruptors, foreign exchange fluctuations, weaker domestic demand, increased regulatory requirements, and the cost of technology.
"Private companies are stacking the deck against uncertainty with nimble growth strategies," said Roger Nanney, vice chairman, Deloitte LLP, and Deloitte Private U.S. leader. "Consistent with their critical role as a growth engine of the global economy, private companies are taking incisive action to grow and invest in their businesses."
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