Inflation is worrying chief executives globally, according to a survey released Thursday by the Conference Board, a business research group, and data shared by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics on Thursday backs their concerns.
Some 55% of CEOs expect higher prices to last until mid-2023 or beyond next year, according to the survey.
Rising inflation is the second-most common external business worry for CEOs, trailing only disruptions caused by Covid-19, after being just the 22nd most cited concern in Conference Board’s 2021 poll.
Supply chain bottlenecks were the most common explanation for the rising prices among CEOs, and 82% of respondents said their businesses were impacted by rising input costs, such as raw materials or wages.
The poll was conducted between October and November of last year among 917 CEOs in the U.S., Asia, Europe and South America.
9.7%. That’s how much the Producer Price Index, a measure tracking the prices manufacturers pay for goods, rose in 2021, the highest year-over-year increase since the Bureau of Labor Statistics began calculating the statistic in 2010. The PPI is considered a forward-looking indicator for consumer prices, meaning that the highest inflation U.S. consumers have faced in four decades could climb even further.
The Conference Board survey found that the U.S. has faced unique labor issues during the pandemic. Labor shortages were considered the top external threat to business by U.S. respondents as a record number of Americans quit their jobs, but were not higher than third on the list of CEOs from other countries. A primarily remote workforce is also a mostly American phenomenon: More than half of American CEOs said that they expect 40% or more of their workforce to work remotely after the pandemic, compared with just 31% of CEOs from Europe and 17% of CEOs from Japan.
Inflation Surge Is on Many Executives’ List of 2022 Worries (Wall Street Journal)