Accenture: Senior execs bullish on growth prospects for 2006
29/01/2006
Three-quarters of senior executives in North America, Europe and Asia believe their companies and industries will grow in 2006, according to the results of an online survey released this week by Accenture.

The annual survey, which identifies the business outlook and major concerns of more than 900 "C-suite" executives in the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Japan, Canada and China, also found that nearly four-fifths (78 per cent) of companies will be hiring in the next six months either to fill crucial positions as they are vacated or to actively recruit new employees. In addition, nearly half (46 per cent) of the companies expect to increase spending this year.

From a geographic perspective, executives in China are the most optimistic about economic growth. In fact, nearly every Chinese respondent (98 per cent) predicted growth for his or her industry this year.

"The perception among C-suite executives that the global economy is getting stronger should be a hopeful indicator for global business," said Mark Foster, chief executive of Accenture's Products operating group. "As optimism for the global economic climate improves, top executives are more apt to focus on improving their own businesses by spending for programs that might have been curtailed or postponed and by hiring new employees to carry out their growth plans."

From an industry perspective, respondents in the financial services industry were the most optimistic about their industry's growth, with 86 per cent of these respondents saying they expect their industry to grow this year. Respondents in government were the least optimistic, with only 57 per cent of these respondents expecting growth this year.

Chief operating officers and HR directors are the most optimistic about the growth of their organizations than are other senior executives with nearly 80 per cent predicting business growth in 2006.

The survey also asked respondents to identify what they believe to be the top ten threats to their company's success in 2006.

The top three perceived threats were competitors (72%), the health of the global economy (67%) and the inability to attract and retain the best talent (67%).

The three areas of least concern were compliance with government regulations, with 38% of responders identified it as threat, inability to focus on core competencies (37%) and instability of senior leadership (35%).

39% of responders identified terrorism as threat, raking it sixth.

News Releases

Senior Executives Bullish on Growth Prospects for 2006, Accenture Survey Finds

"Competition" is Seen as Bigger Threat to Companies’ Success Than the "Health of the Global Economy"

NEW YORK, Jan. 23, 2006 – Three-quarters of senior executives in North America, Europe and Asia believe their companies and industries will grow in 2006, according to the results of an online survey released today by Accenture.

The annual survey, which identifies the business outlook and major concerns of more than 900 "C-suite" executives in the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Japan, Canada and China, also found that nearly four-fifths (78 percent) of companies will be hiring in the next six months either to fill crucial positions as they are vacated or to actively recruit new employees. In addition, nearly half (46 percent) of the companies expect to increase spending this year.

"The perception among C-suite executives that the global economy is getting stronger should be a hopeful indicator for global business," said Mark Foster, chief executive of Accenture’s Products operating group. "As optimism for the global economic climate improves, top executives are more apt to focus on improving their own businesses by spending for programs that might have been curtailed or postponed and by hiring new employees to carry out their growth plans."

Some other highlights of the survey:

* Most senior executives expect their companies to expand in two ways: by building deeper relationships with current customers and by launching new products and services.

 

* From a geographic perspective, executives in China are the most optimistic about economic growth. In fact, nearly every Chinese respondent (98 percent) predicted growth for his or her industry this year.

 

* From an industry perspective, respondents in the financial services industry were the most optimistic about their industry’s growth, with 86 percent of these respondents saying they expect their industry to grow this year. Respondents in government were the least optimistic, with only 57 percent of these respondents expecting growth this year.

 

* Chief operating officers and HR directors are the most optimistic about the growth of their organizations than are other senior executives with nearly 80 percent predicting business growth in 2006.

 

The survey also asked respondents to identify what they believe to be the top threats to their company’s success in 2006. The chart below shows the percentage of respondents who selected specific threats.

Top 10 Perceived Threats to Company Success Percentage of respondents

1. The competition 72 percent

2. The health of the global economy 67 percent

3. Inability to attract and retain the best talent 60 percent

4. My company’s reputation 59 percent

5. Inability to develop new products/services 48 percent

6. Terrorism 39 percent

7. Low employee morale 39 percent

7. Compliance with govt. regulation 38 percent

9. Inability to focus on core competencies 37 percent

10. Instability of senior leadership 35 percent

About the Study

As part of an annual study to identify senior executives’ top concerns, Accenture conducted an online survey of 911 senior executives at many of the largest organizations around the world. Respondents represented all major industries and the public sector and included executives at the highest levels of senior management ("C-suite" executives) as well as heads of key functional areas, such as human resources. For this year’s study, fieldwork was conducted between September and December 2005. For more information on the survey, visit www.accenture.com.

About Accenture

Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company. Committed to delivering innovation, Accenture collaborates with its clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments. With deep industry and business process expertise, broad global resources and a proven track record, Accenture can mobilize the right people, skills, and technologies to help clients improve their performance. With more than 126,000 people in 48 countries, the company generated net revenues of US$15.55 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2005. Its home page is www.accenture.com.

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Contact

Lisa Gordon-Miller

Accenture

+1 (917) 452 3505

lisa.gordon-miller@accenture.com