Record number of CEOs optimistic about economy: PwC

DAVOS, Switzerland -- With stock markets booming and global growth picking up, CEOs are a lot more confident about the future.

In its annual survey of business leaders released ahead of the official opening of this year's World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland, consulting firm PwC said a record-breaking proportion of CEOs are optimistic about the global economy, at least in the short term.

According to its survey of almost 1,300 CEOs worldwide, PwC said 57 percent believe global economic growth will improve in the next 12 months, almost double last year's 29 percent. It's the largest-ever increase since PwC began surveying views on global growth in 2012.

PwC singled out the U.S., with optimism recovering strongly following the recent focus on regulation and tax reform by the Trump administration.

The tax overhaul permanently reduces the corporate tax rate to 21 percent from 35 percent, while also moving to a system that would exclude many foreign profits from taxation. The savings would generate billions of dollars in profits for companies, with economists generally estimating that roughly 75 percent would go to investors and 25 percent to workers.

The stock market has soared in anticipation of the cuts with the expectation that they will lead to higher profits, bigger dividend payments and share buybacks.

"It's no surprise CEOs are so bullish," Bob Moritz, PwC's global chairman, said.

The firm's findings chime with others, including the International Monetary Fund, which earlier Monday revised up its global growth forecast for 2018 to a seven-year high of 3.9 percent.