Indian CEOs most confident on business climate: survey

70% of CEOs in Asia see sales rising in next 12 months, 51% expect fixed investments to increase, 40% expect to end the period with bigger workforces


The confidence of Indian CEOs rose 3.2 points to 66 in the first quarter of 2017, reversing the decline seen in the fourth quarter of 2016. Graphic: Ahmed Raza Khan/Mint
The confidence of Indian CEOs rose 3.2 points to 66 in the first quarter of 2017, reversing the decline seen in the fourth quarter of 2016. Graphic: Ahmed Raza Khan/Mint

New Delhi: Indian business leaders are the most confident among the world’s 10 largest economies, according to global chief executive network YPO’s Global Pulse Survey.

The confidence of Indian leaders rose 3.2 points to 66 in the first quarter of 2017, reversing the decline seen in the fourth quarter of 2016, when confidence dipped in the immediate aftermath of the government’s decision to invalidate old high-value currency notes.

Overall, the confidence of leaders in Asia rose as well—by 2.1 points to 63.3.

YPO, previously called the Young President’s Organization, publishes the quarterly confidence index based on a survey of its members.

According to the organization, the survey polls CEOs on “projections for sales, employee count, fixed investment and business conditions”. A score of 50 and below indicates a negative view of the future and 51 and above, a positive view. The latest survey was conducted in early April, soon after the beginning of the fiscal for most Indian firms.

Globally, at 62.5, the YPO Global Pulse Index in the first quarter of 2017 is at its highest level since January 2015.

Asia’s emerging economies, including India, saw business confidence improve. The YPO Global Pulse Index for Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) is at a three-year high of 66.

“It’s positive to see that business leaders in Asia remain optimistic about the economic climate and the potential for growth, despite uncertainty surrounding the stability of the global economy, and the potential impact of more protectionist US economic policies,” YPO member Wei Chen, founder and chairman of Sun Capital, said in a statement.

In Asia, 70% of the CEOs surveyed expect sales to increase in the next 12 months; 51% expect their fixed investments to increase; and 40% expect to end the period with bigger workforces.

The survey considered responses from 1,216 YPO global chief executive officers, including 153 in Asia and 60 in Australasia.

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