The results are clear: Private companies in the US are focused on growth.
PwC's latest Private Company Trendsetter Barometer found that more than three-fourths (78 percent) of the 250 CEOs polled expect positive growth over the next 12 months. About four out of ten (43 percent) anticipate single-digit growth, and more than one-third (35 percent) are projecting double-digit growth.
Overall, these results indicate the rate of expected growth for Trendsetter companies has risen 18 percent.
Hiring projections for the next 12 months are on the upswing, too.
More than half (54 percent) of the CEOs responding said they intend to add to their workforce over the next year that's up from 48 percent the prior quarter. Just 3 percent believe they'll reduce headcount, with an overall 2.0 percent increase projected for private companies' composite workforce.
PwC looked specifically at export revenue and found that internationally active Trendsetter companies forecast a 9.6 percent revenue growth rate over the next year. As you might expect, the rate is highest (11.1 percent) for companies selling in growth economies, such as China, India, and Brazil. Sales abroad are expected to contribute to 20 percent of total revenue for international Trendsetter companies overall and 28 percent for companies selling in China, India, and Brazil.
Interestingly, PwC's research also revealed that international Trendsetter companies lead their domestic-only peers both in planned capital spending (53 percent versus 29 percent) and in planned increases in operational spending (83 percent versus 62 percent).
Among all Trendsetter companies, 40 percent cite information technology as their top area of planned operational spending, followed by new products/services (29 percent), marketing and sales promotion (25 percent), business acquisitions (16 percent) and R&D (14 percent). Planned IT spending is higher among Trendsetter companies selling in international markets (48 percent) than among domestic-only companies (34 percent).
"Information technology is increasingly important to companies that want to penetrate and compete effectively in fast-growth markets, especially as the Internet is becoming a key sales channel there, via mobile devices in particular," said Ken Esch, a partner with PwC's Private Company Services practice. "For US companies to be as nimble as their emerging-market competitors --many of whom are unencumbered by legacy systems and can therefore leapfrog straight to ultra-high-speed mobile --they'll need to be more strategic about their IT investments going forward."
Many more details from PwC's Private Company Trendsetter Barometer are available in this press release.