More CEOs plan to hire than fire in 2010: survey

Tue Jan 26, 2010 6:04pm EST
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By Ben Hirschler

DAVOS, Switzerland (Reuters) - Business confidence is bouncing back after the sharpest drop in economic activity since World War Two, prompting more industry leaders to start hiring again, a survey showed on Wednesday.

Job creation plans, however, remain small-scale and largely concentrated in emerging markets, where the economic recovery has been strongest and wages are lower.

Growth hopes in the developed world remain markedly more subdued, the study found.

A PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) survey of 1,200 chief executives in 52 countries found 39 percent of industry bosses aimed to increase headcount in 2010, while 25 percent planned more job cuts, down from nearly half who slashed jobs last year.

"Last year we clearly were in a crisis mode," said Dennis Nally, global chairman of the consultancy group.

"CEOs are much more optimistic today, although there is a fair amount of caution as well, and the concerns depend on where you sit. If you are a CEO in a developing country you are feeling much more upbeat than CEOs in the developed world."

The survey was released on the opening day of the World Economic Forum, where 2,500 of the world's business and political elite are meeting in the wake of the economic crisis.

Markets have been buoyed by $5 trillion of cheap money, designed to float the global economy off the rocks, but as governments and central banks prepare exit strategies many business leaders see only a slow recovery.   Continued...

<p>People enter the congress centre of the Alpine resort of Davos, the venue of the World Economic Forum (WEF), January 26, 2010. REUTERS/Michael Buholzer</p>