The Slovenia Times

Survey shows Slovenian CEOs pessimistic about global economy


The 22nd annual global CEO survey by PwC found that only 13% of Slovenian executives think that the global economic growth will improve in the next 12 months, and 41% expect no changes.

Almost one-third (31%) of Slovenian CEOs are firmly convinced that their companies will increase revenue in the next 12 months, and only 16% that their companies will manage to do so in the next three years.

The survey was presented today by PwC and the Manager Association at an event in Ljubljana, which also featured a round table debate with representatives of Slovenian companies.

Manager Association executive director Saša Mrak said that making projections was unrewarding given all the uncertainties, adding that the state should work on relieving the tax burden on the economy nevertheless.

Businesses, meanwhile, need to make sure that productivity and added value is increased, while the public sector needs to boost its efficiency, she added.

According to the survey, Slovenian CEOs are concerned the most about possible tax hikes and the shortage of trained staff, but also about the labour market and public finances in Slovenia being very rigid.

More than 80% of Slovenian executives are worried about tax hikes and the same percentage is worried that they would not be able to find adequately trained staff.

More than 90% said that it was harder to employ workers in their industries now than in recent years.

"We have been facing a shortage of adequately trained staff for ten years, but the problem has intensified in recent years," said Uroš Rosa of the exhaust maker Akrapovič.

The survey also shows that CEOs are aware that artificial intelligence (AI) will dictate major changes in their business.

Almost 85% of Slovenian executives agree that AI will bring significant changes in the operations of their companies in the next five years, but 34% admit that they currently plan no initiatives in this field.

Microsoft Slovenija director general Barbara Domicelj said that this was a bad sign and called for action. "Artificial intelligence complements humans," she said, adding that industry 4.0 would improve the quality of life.

"On the one hand people are afraid of artificial intelligence taking their jobs, while on the other hand we are facing a shortage of staff, which is a paradox," added Peter Boras of the software developer RoboticsX.

Presenting the global survey, PwC said that "last year, our survey revealed record-breaking CEO optimism. This year, chief executives tell a different story."

"Trade conflicts, political upset, and a projected slowdown in global economic growth have increased uncertainty and decreased confidence in revenue prospects," the consultancy added.


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