Survey: CEOs Show Qualified Optimism

By John S. McClenahen Increased Competition. Over-regulation. Currency fluctuations. Loss of key talent. Global terrorism. Those are the primary risk-related barriers that threaten to keep CEOs and their companies from reaching their relatively near-term revenue goals, according to a PricewaterhouseCoopers' survey of nearly 1,391 executives worldwide. That said, more than 80% of the executives, nevertheless, have confidence in their companies' revenue growth for the short term -- the next 12 months -- and the medium terms -- the next three years. As far as the risks are concerned, increased competition is No. 1, with 63% of the CEOs considering it a threat to success. Over-regulation is a close second, with 59% labeling it a threat. Farther down the rankings, 48% of the CEOs see currency fluctuations as a problem, 45% fear the loss of key talent could hamper their companies' success, and 40% consider global terrorism a threat to business growth. The survey was conducted during the fourth quarter of 2004 and included executives in manufacturing, financial services, technology and the media, and distribution and retailing.

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