A Strong Quarter Despite Uncertainty: Q2 2021 CEO Survey
Each quarter, Blackstone surveys a diverse set of our portfolio company CEOs on their outlook for the economy and their businesses. In the second quarter of 2021, participating CEOs* represented companies predominately from North America, with some representation from Europe and Asia, and across industries including real estate, financial institutions, consumer & leisure, transportation, industrials, technology, media & communications, service, and healthcare.
Broad Based Recovery Amidst an Uncertain Environment. Business conditions were more favorable for the first two quarters of 2021 as the economy continued to reopen. Globally, Blackstone portfolio companies in “good neighborhoods” – high-conviction sectors and industries such as technology, media and telecom – continued their strong secular growth. Companies in COVID-affected sectors such as travel and leisure also started to see recovery. Industrials showed signs of strength as well, with the US Industrial Production Index up last quarter by 16.3% YoY. Despite robust performance in high-conviction sectors and signs of rebound in COVID-affected ones, geopolitical tensions and COVID variants may continue to cause uncertainty regarding the trajectory and pace of recovery.
Stress Points. Our surveyed CEOs identified tight labor markets and supply chain constraints as some of their biggest macroeconomic concerns. A majority are also concerned about the potential impact of inflation on their business. Indeed, given the level of stimulus in the economy, inflation may be higher and less transitory than previously thought.
Positive Expectations. Though these factors pose uncertainty for surveyed CEOs, they had an overall positive outlook as demand for goods and services trended upwards.
*The survey includes input from 41 CEOs. The representation by geography, industry and business group are illustrated in the graph above.
Certain information herein has been derived from surveys of certain Blackstone portfolio companies. Such surveys were not scientifically conducted and are not necessarily a representative sample of companies in Blackstone’s portfolio or across industries, geographies, or any other category or metric. The views expressed by the portfolio companies may be different if provided by different portfolio companies.