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CEO Confidence in Global Economic Outlook Gains, PwC Poll Shows

Chief executive officers are turning more upbeat about the outlook for the world economy with the number predicting it will improve doubling from a year ago.

Forty-four percent of CEOs responding to a PricewaterhouseCoopers LLC survey said they anticipate improvement over the next months, up from 18 percent at the start of last year. Just 7 percent predict deterioration, a quarter of the share in January 2013.

The poll reflects mounting confidence as executives, policy makers and investors trek to Davos, Switzerland, for the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting, which begins tomorrow. The International Monetary Fund today raised its forecast for global growth this year to 3.7 percent from the 3.6 percent it anticipated in October.

“CEOs have begun to regain confidence,” Dennis M. Nally, chairman of PricewaterhouseCoopers International, said in a statement. “They’ve successfully guided their companies through recession and now more CEOs feel positive about their ability to increase their revenues and prospects for the global economy.”

Thirty-nine percent of business leaders said they are “very confident” about revenue growth, up from 36 percent a year ago. A fifth of them are planning mergers, acquisitions or strategic alliances in the next year and half intend to add staff.

More than two-thirds cited over-regulation by governments, tax burdens and fiscal deficits as areas of concern. The survey was based on 1,344 interviews in 68 countries in the last quarter of 2013.

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