Canadian Manufacturing

KPMG’s Global CEO Outlook reports finds optimism among CEOs in Canada

Over four in five Canadian CEOs (83 per cent) said they "need to be quicker to shift investment to digital opportunities and divest businesses that face digital obsolescence," compared to 78 per cent globally.

September 15, 2021  by CM Staff

TORONTO — Despite the Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus slowing down the ‘return to normal’, Canadian CEOs hold the world’s most confident outlook for domestic economic growth, finds KPMG’s latest Global CEO Outlook report.

The report finds that nine in 10 (89 per cent) CEOs who helm Canada’s biggest and most-influential companies are bullish about their local economy’s growth prospects for the next three years, surpassing pre-pandemic levels by a full 10 points and the highest among global peers surveyed in 11 major countries, including China, Germany, the U.K. and the U.S. Only Australian CEOs share the same level of optimism as Canadians, at 88 per cent.

“Although we saw some recent softness in the economic data, Canadian CEOs are confident that the investments they’ve made to ramp up their digital capabilities and prowess positions them for strong future growth,” says Elio Luongo, Chief Executive Officer and Senior Partner, KPMG in Canada. “Making these strategic investments during unprecedented challenging conditions will allow their organizations to take advantage of pent-up consumer demand as Canada navigates through and emerges from the pandemic.”

Canadian CEOs – more than their peers in any other major country – see technological disruption as more of an opportunity than a threat (91 per cent vs. 76 per cent globally) and say they are actively disrupting their industry rather than waiting to be disrupted (86 per cent vs. 72 per cent globally). The latter – actively disrupting their industry – is up sharply, as much as 26 points, from a year ago.

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Over four in five Canadian CEOs (83 per cent) said they “need to be quicker to shift investment to digital opportunities and divest businesses that face digital obsolescence,” compared to 78 per cent globally.

For nearly a third (31 per cent) of Canadian executives, achieving growth means their No. 1 priority is digitizing and connecting their enterprise (vs. 26 per cent globally) and 68 per cent are investing more of their capital in buying new technology (vs. 60 per cent globally).

Notably, global CEOs consider supply chain disruptions among the top risks to their three-year outlook. By comparison, Canadian CEOs don’t see it as much as a barrier to growth, ranking it ninth, which could create potential challenges down the road. In fact, nearly three in five Canadian executives say their supply chain has come under increasing stress over the past 18 months (59 per cent vs. 56 per cent globally) and a quarter of them are already taking steps to onshore areas of their supply chain to improve production or operational resiliency (25 per cent vs. 19 per cent globally).