Embracing Tomorrow with Optimism

24th Annual Global CEO Survey - Luxembourg Findings

CEOs are showing mounting confidence regarding the rate and scale of the global economic recovery, as the vaccine rollout gives rise to hope for a much-needed improvement in economic sentiment. The increased optimism among our respondents in this year's survey hints at the possibility of an economic recovery in 2021 and 2022. Indeed, the IMF predicts a 5.5% growth for the global economy in 2021, reflecting PwC predictions of a return to a pre-pandemic global economy by late 2021 or early 2022.

Explore the key findings below

 

Looking ahead, CEOs are optimistic about the recovery...

The Global CEO respondents expect that the economy will improve over the next 12 months. This percentage is slightly higher when narrowing the scope to Luxembourg, where 79% of respondents share the same sentiment. Luxembourg CEOs' optimism has also improved with respect to 2019 results strengthening the hypothesis of an economic comeback. In line with these positive expectations, CEOs are also forecasting an improvement in their revenue for the next year.

Do you believe global economic growth will improve, stay the same or decline over the next 12 months?

Do you believe global economic growth will improve, stay the same or decline over the next 12 months?

Sources: PwC 24th Annual Global CEO Survey, PwC Market Research Centre
Note: the option “Don’t know” does not appear in this figure.

... but concerns surrounding over-regulation remain prevalent for Luxembourg CEOs

Unsurprisingly, the most commonly cited threat globally for 2020 was "pandemics and other health crises". However, Luxembourg CEOs are more concerned with over-regulation; which also ranked first in 2019. This worry seems to be largely specific to Luxembourg, with 63% of the country’s CEOs voicing concerns that over-regulation may jeopardise the growth of their organisation - 21% more than at the global level.

Top 10 potential business, economic, policy, social and environmental threats to the organisation's growth prospects

* This is a multiple-choice question, as a result, the graph can be interpreted as follows: over the 5,050 global respondents, 52% have selected “very concerned” by pandemics, 47% have selected “very concerned” by cyber threats, etc. In contrast, among the 82 respondents in Luxembourg, 63% have selected “very concerned” by over-regulation, 60% have selected “very concerned” by cyber threats, etc.

Sources: PwC 24th Annual Global CEO Survey, PwC Market Research Centre

The Covid-19 pandemic enhances the need to address cybersecurity

Which of the following threats, if any, are explicitly factored into your strategic risk management activities?

Which of the following threats, if any, are explicitly factored into your strategic risk management activities?

Sources: PwC 24th Annual Global CEO Survey, PwC Market Research Centre

As digital technologies grow increasingly sophisticated and are embedded into every aspect of our lives, the volume of valuable data that is being generated is increasing exponentially year-on-year. While data analytics enhances user experience and streamlines operations, the risk of this data being compromised represents a significant threat. In Luxembourg, cyber threats climbed from sixth to second place in the top-ten ranking of threats in 2020 alone.

 

ESG: turning the challenge into an opportunity

Environmental concerns are gaining prominence at the global level, with 30% of our Global CEOs being extremely concerned with climate change. However, while sustainability risks and considerations are undoubtedly becoming increasingly entrenched in the financial landscape, the most significant potential for further penetration lies ahead. In Luxembourg, 75% of the CEOs plan to increase their long-term investment towards sustainability and ESG initiatives. We can definitely consider that ESG will increase in significance, driven by an alignment of the public and private sectors. 

Beyond investment, there is also a data challenge related to the measurement and reporting of ESG performance, but 48% of Luxembourg companies are motivated to measure more, 44% to report more. The figures are even greater among financial leaders, which have been deeply impacted by the upcoming European regulations.

In which of the following key areas of impact and value do you believe your organisation should be doing more to measure/report?

Sources: PwC 24th Annual Global CEO Survey, PwC Market Research Centre

Digitalisation: a necessity to survive

Digitalisation is not a new trend, and companies have been allocating significant investment to enhancing their digital infrastructure and streamlining their operations for well over a decade. However, the rate with which this trend accelerated throughout the COVID-19 pandemic has transcended all possible predictions. Today's challenge  relates to the use of these digital tools to enhance efficiency and develop new products in a timely manner. All of this is on Luxembourg CEOs' minds, with 85% of survey respondents planning to increase their long-term investments in digital transformation over the next three years.

How do you plan to change your long-term investments in the following areas over the next three years, as a result of the COVID-19 crisis?

How do you plan to change your long-term investments in the following areas over the next three years, as a result of the COVID-19 crisis?

Sources: PwC 24th Annual Global CEO Survey, PwC Market Research Centre

Note: due to rounding, the sum of percentages in each category might not add up to 100%.

Integrating upskilling into the core of your workforce strategy

In order to change with the times and unlock the opportunities presented by new technologies, a more diverse range of technical skills will be required. Upskilling policies will play a pivotal role in ensuring that the current workforce does not experience dramatic disruptions as a consequence of the accelerated digitalisation. Investing in upskilling policies is a must, especially in a context where the vast majority of companies and workers still feel they lack appropriate digital skills. This paramount necessity is particularly highlighted in Luxembourg, which needs a qualified workforce to keep its key role in the financial industry.

We have already observed a widespread trend of businesses asking the government to strongly consider the topic, with 72% of local CEO's claiming that upskilling programmes should be a top government priority.

Which three outcomes do you think should be government/business priorities in the country/territory in which you are based?

Sources: PwC 24th Annual Global CEO Survey, PwC Market Research Centre

Contact us

John Parkhouse

CEO & Senior Partner, PwC Luxembourg

Tel: +352 49 48 48 2133

François Mousel

Partner, PwC Luxembourg

Tel: +352 49 48 48 2182

Laurent Probst

Partner, PwC Luxembourg

Tel: + 352 49 48 48 2199

Olivier Carré

Partner, PwC Luxembourg

Tel: +352 49 48 48 4174

Sandra Paulis

Partner, PwC Luxembourg

Tel: +352 49 48 48 2445

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