Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

U.K. CEOs Hopeful About Outlook in Global Economic Upswing

U.K. business chiefs are drawing confidence from the upswing in global growth.

Almost 90 percent of U.K. chief executive officers are optimistic about their organization’s prospects for the next year, little changed from 2017, according to a survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP released Monday. The proportion expecting a pick up in global growth has more than doubled to 36 percent since last year’s report.

Global events have also become the main concern for the U.K.’s top business leaders, with geopolitical risk overtaking more domestic issues such as uncertain economic growth and exchange-rate volatility as the top threat to their companies.

With Brexit clouding the U.K.’s outlook, the optimism among executives contrasts with a more downbeat assessment elsewhere. In its latest forecasts, the International Monetary Fund upgraded almost every major nation except the U.K. Firms are also feeling the pinch of a squeeze on consumers prompted by faster inflation, with a number retailers complaining about difficult conditions in recent weeks.

There are some signs of concern in the PwC report, with those describing themselves as “very confident” falling to 34 percent from 41 percent previously. The proportion of CEOs expecting to boost headcount has also dropped, while 15 percent expect to cut staff, from 10 percent last year.

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