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Over half of CEOs to step-up investment and M&A in 2022, but headwinds remain

As the world enters a new phase in the global Covid-19 pandemic, the majority of CEOs are ready to accelerate plans for investment and mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in their pursuit for growth.

These findings come from the inaugural EY 2022 CEO Outlook Survey, which recorded the views of more than 2,000 CEOs across the globe on their prospects, challenges and opportunities.
More than half of respondents (54 per cent) will prioritise investment in existing businesses, digital transformation and sustainability, according to the survey. In addition, more than three-quarters (79 per cent) of respondents have adjusted, or are planning to adjust, their supply chain to help reduce costs and minimise risks to prepare for future disruption. 
Following a record year that saw USD5 trillion worth of M&A, transactions will remain a critical tool for CEOs in 2022 complementing other areas of investment. Nearly two-thirds (59 per cent) of respondents expect their companies to pursue acquisitions in the next 12 months — up from 48 per cent at the start of 2021.  
CEO investment plans, however, could be thrown off course due to external risks to their business. A majority of the surveyed CEOs (87 per cent) appear worried about rising input prices and identify trade tensions (18 per cent), the impact of climate change (17 per cent) and increasing competition from challengers (13 per cent) as the most critical risks to the future growth of their businesses.

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