Blackstone CEO Survey

Quarterly Insights from Portfolio Company Leaders

2Q23 Survey: CEOs Cautiously Optimistic

Blackstone’s global portfolio spans more than 230 companies employing over 700,000 people. Each quarter, we survey a sample of these companies’ CEOs on the current business environment and what they see on the horizon.

Inflation is

in retreat

Key inflation indicators in the US—including wages, raw materials, energy and pricing—all slowed from the same quarter of the prior year. Surveyed CEOs anticipate further deceleration over the coming year.

Downward arrow
Bustling city

The economy continues

to be resilient

Our global corporate private equity operating companies reported robust 2Q23 revenue and EBITDA growth compared to the prior year, although at a slower pace than previous quarters.1 The overwhelming majority of surveyed CEOs believe business conditions will either improve or stay the same over the next six months.

Margin pressures

are abating

Profit margins in our corporate private equity operating companies improved on average in 2Q23 compared to the prior year.1 The overwhelming majority of surveyed CEOs—representing a broader set of our businesses—expect margins to stay the same or increase in both 2023 and 2024. They also believe that cost pressures and supply chain constraints are abating.

Pressure releasing from a pipe graphic
Scale that shows applicants are outweighing jobs

Battle for talent tough,

but improving

Competition for talent remains intense, but surveyed CEOs reported reduced challenges relative to recent quarters. While it remains difficult to hire workers, CEOs believe the number of job openings will continue to decline in the coming quarters.

Technology spend is

top of mind

Responding CEOs are focused on the impact of AI on their businesses. They expect to increase spending on CapEx, including software, this year.

Technology chip

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  1. Revenue and EBITDA growth are based on the weighted average growth across the portfolio, weighted on FMV. For “corporate private operating companies”, certain companies are excluded, such as public holdings and certain energy, FIG and new investments.

The Blackstone CEO survey referred to herein is a survey of a subset of portfolio company CEOs. For Q2’2023, the survey reflects responses from 85 Blackstone portfolio companies (63 U.S. CEOs) largely within Blackstone’s private equity and credit businesses (the “CEO Survey”). Note that survey composition varies from quarter to quarter. The CEO Survey was initiated on June 5, 2023, and closed June 21, 2023. Quarter-over-quarter presentations reflect data only for companies who responded to the survey question in both quarters, which may result in a smaller subset of portfolio companies CEOs represented in such presentation than the overall CEO Survey. The responding portfolio companies are not necessarily a representative sample of companies across Blackstone’s portfolio and the views expressed do not necessarily reflect the views of Blackstone. The views expressed reflect the responding CEOs’ views as of the date of their responses, and Blackstone does not undertake any responsibility to advise you of any changes in such views. References to “CEO” or “CEOs” herein refer to respondents to the Q2’2023 Blackstone CEO survey.