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CEOs head to Davos more pessimistic about 2013

  • People gather at the 'Davos lounge' inside the Congress Center and follow the latest tweets of participants on the eve of the opening of the 43rd Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum, WEF, in Davos, Switzerland, Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013. As corporate leaders gather for the World Economic Forum in Davos amid a slow and shaky recovery, a new study looks at business leaders' moods and what they hope to do this year. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)

DAVOS, Switzerland — As high-powered CEOs flock to the snowy Swiss resort of Davos, they are loaded down with baggage — not just skis and iPads but concerns about the global economy, public mistrust, disappearing jobs and a heap of other challenges.

New survey results Tuesday showed a steady drop in the number of CEOs worldwide who are "very confident" that their companies will grow this year. The number fell from 48 percent in 2011 to 36 percent this year.

Amid this pessimism, most of them are carefully sticking to a few investments in tried-and-true markets, according to the survey by accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers.

"Most are saying that the global economy will stay about the same for the next 12 months. So, not encouraging, maybe not discouraging, but clearly that's affecting their outlook for their own companies' growth prospects," PwC chairman Dennis Nally told The Associated Press in an interview.

"The degree of confidence across the board is really down, regardless of whether you're in a developing market or a developed market," he said.


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