Pressing on

CEOs seemingly unfazed by economy

New York  August 21, 2001  When asked for the single-most important issue their business must deal with in the year ahead, most fast-growth CEOs zero in on subjects related to management. Only one in four (24 percent) cites the uncertain economy and weak market demand, according to the latest PricewaterhouseCoopers "Trendsetter Barometer" survey, released today.

 The single-most important issues cited include: 

  1. Economy/Demand (including industry, cash flow)  24 percent

  2. Marketing & Sales (including new product development, customer service, advertising)  19 percent

  3. Managing Growth (including reorganization)  18 percent

  4. Financial (including capital, margins, wages, taxes)  15 percent

  5. Internal management (including productivity, pricing, controls, IT, Internet)  12 percent

  6. Hiring (including skilled workers, wages)  10 percent

  7. External Forces (including government, competition)  7 percent

  8. Mergers and Acquisitions  4 percent

Note: Total exceeds 100 percent because of rounding and several multiple answers.

While one in four of these CEOs sees the economy as their number one issue, many others appear proactively focused on critical aspects of their business, seeking to maintain a positive momentum even in these tough times, said Paul Weaver, PricewaterhouseCoopers' global technology industry leader. Sizeable numbers are zeroing in on marketing and sales, and on managing for growth. In addition, a number are wisely concentrating on their financials, profitability, and locating an adequate source of qualified workers. It is noteworthy that so many remain so focused  apparently undaunted, while operating in daunting times, Mr. Weaver added.

PricewaterhouseCoopers' Trendsetter Barometer is developed and compiled with assistance from the opinion and economic research firm of BSI Global Research.