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Business leaders set for profitability and growth in the year ahead

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Our CEO Confidence Index July Quarter 2022 shows Australian SME CEOs are eyeing growth in FY2023 despite the gloomy economic outlook. Armed with a committed focus on people and culture, confidence in investing, and anticipated increases in revenue – business leaders have their sights set on carving out profitability and growth in the year ahead.

Responses were gathered from 134 of our SME CEOs from a diverse range of industries about their current levels of confidence in the economy. Some key take-aways were:

  • Leaders of mid-sized businesses are acutely aware of current and predicted economic uncertainty, with the majority anticipating conditions to weaken further in the year ahead. However, they’re equipped with the learnings and resilience of the last two years and are prepared to charge ahead.
  • Many CEOs are re-emerging from the short-term practical decisions they made two years ago and have their eye on the long game. In FY2023, they have a renewed focus, making brave decisions particularly when it comes to price, profit and sales revenue.
  • In a tight labour market, CEOs and business leaders are increasingly aware of the importance of attracting and retaining talent. Over the next 12 months, they remain committed to expanding their headcount, but know they must do so by elevating their employee value proposition.

The results are summarised below.

About the CEO Confidence Index

The Executive Connection CEO Confidence Index is a survey measuring the economic outlook and sentiment of Australian and New Zealand business leaders of Mid-market organisations. The survey measures the following indexes:

  • Views about economic conditions compared to a year ago
  • Expectations for economic conditions in the year ahead
  • Business expectations for the next 12 months on:
    − Fixed capital expenditure
    − Sales revenues
    − Profitability
    − Prices for their products and services
    − Total headcount

The survey also identifies the challenges and opportunities faced by leaders including business operations, leadership, talent and technology.  Members are CEOs and business leaders of businesses with up to 200 employees and annual revenue of between $2 million and $100+ million per year. The results provide insight into the challenges and opportunities faced by leaders and their confidence in the Australian and New Zealand business environment as well as insights into key issues such as political leadership, access to funding and market conditions.

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