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CEOs Optimistic About U.S. Economy and Role of GenAI in Companies

In the recently released KPMG 2024 U.S. CEO Outlook, CEOs from 100 large companies express forward-thinking and generally optimistic views about the future of business in the U.S.

Economic outlook: When asked about the prospects for the U.S. economy, 87% of CEOs expressed confidence in the prospect of U.S. economic growth. CEOs held a similarly positive view of global growth and their own company’s health with 78% expressing confidence in each. However, CEOs are aware of the potential impact of geopolitical tensions with 87% expecting that rising tensions will disrupt the currently positive U.S. economic trend.

Tight labor markets: CEOs are anticipating structural change caused by tight labor markets. With demographic shifts only beginning to take hold, the impact of tight labor markets on strategy will increase exponentially in the years to come. This challenge is being addressed with 78% investing in employee upskilling, 69% leveraging Gen AI to fill skill needs, and 70% having already eliminated, or considering eliminating college degrees for some jobs. 

GenAI: CEOs are focused on GenAI to increase productivity, restructure how work is done, and create new revenue streams. When asked whether leadership has a good understanding of GenAI, 77% of CEOs said they did, noting their confidence that leadership knows how to use GenAI to gain benefits today and plan for the true future impact. 70% are confident that their leadership can navigate the ethical concerns of GenAI.

The bottom line: CEOs have confidence in the value of GenAI, their leadership teams, and the general positive trend in the U.S. economy but express a willingness to delay major investments to 2025 with 62% indicating that they will have no significant capital expenditures or M&A activity until after the presidential election in November.

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Authors: Nancy Hammer

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