STA, 5 February 2020 - Slovenian executives are quite pessimistic about the prospects for global economic growth this year as more than half think growth will slow down, shows a survey conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).
"The sentiment of this year's survey of Slovenian directors is best summarised with the word uncertainty," head of legal services at PWC Slovenia, Sanja Savič, told the press on Wednesday.
Last year 47% of directors thought that global growth will deteriorate over the next 12 months, this year 53% think so.
The Slovenian figures are very much aligned with global trends. In last year's PwC survey just 29% of directors were pessimistic, this year the share rose to 53%, in what is the biggest jump in pessimism since 2012.
Savič said uncertainty was present across all segments of the economy and is the consequence of "tensions in international trade, political turmoil, increasing protectionism, coronavirus, terrorism, cyberattacks and increased regulation".
The factors most commonly highlighted by Slovenian directors as having an impact on growth of their companies include uncertain economic growth (78%) and higher taxes (76%). Technological change (67%) and availability of skilled staff (60%) also rank high.
Savič pointed out that Slovenian directors do not perceive cyberattacks as a major threat, as they ranked last among perceived threats (49% mentioned them). Globally, however, the share is much higher, 73%.
Slovenian directors plan to employ a variety of strategies to counter the growing uncertainty, foremost among them organic growth, which is the choice of 69% of Slovenian respondents.
"Interestingly, 50% of Slovenian directors said they would forge new strategic partnerships this year. What this means remains to be seen," Savič said.
Several directors were on hand for the presentation and highlighted the business environment as the overarching problem.
"We don't need much, all we need is a stable and predictable business environment," said Dejan Turk, the director of mobile operator A1 Slovenija.
Likewise, Sašo Berger of IT company S&T said high taxes were not a problem, the business environment was.
This is the second time Slovenia was included in the PwC survey, which has been conducted for over two decades. A total of 45 directors took part in Slovenia and almost 1,600 globally.