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Survey: Weak Demand Tops List Of Private CEO Concerns

By John S. McClenahen Although CEOs of 387 fast growing, privately held U.S. product and service companies believe that economic recovery is at hand, 77% are concerned about the return of weak market demand, according to a PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) survey released March 15. Some 45% fear that new government regulations could harm their companies in the year ahead, and 34% say the same of higher interest rates. Other concerns (and the percentages of CEOs citing them): emergence of new technologies (25%), rescinded tax cuts (16%), new market or corporate scandals (13%), a stronger U.S. dollar (11%), and a weaker U.S. dollar (9%). "These CEOs continue to be concerned about a possible return of weak market demand for their products and services," notes Rich Calzaretta, PwC's national practice leader for private company services. "This would suggest that many are still in the early stages of recovery. These worries should abate as a steady pattern of customer re-orders is established."

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