CEOs express unprecedented pessimism about the world economy

USA: CEOs around the world are aware of signs of an impending economic downturn or even a recession. 73% of CEOs and a total of 4,410 respondents recently surveyed by PwC across 105 countries believe the global economy will shrink this year.

According to PwC, this is the most pessimistic business leader has ever been about the economy since they started asking about it 12 years ago.

The 2023 figures are in stark contrast to 2022, when 77% of leaders predicted economic growth would improve, and 2021, when 76% expected an improvement.

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Nearly 40% of CEOs claimed that adjustments would be necessary before their companies could be considered financially viable in ten years.

CEOs' confidence in their companies' expansion through 2022 fell to 26%, the biggest year-over-year decline since a 58% decline during the 2008-2009 recession.

A shaky economy, decades-high inflation, and geopolitical strife fueled a level of CEO pessimism not seen in more than ten years. As a result, CEOs around the world are revising their business plans and cutting costs.

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Despite these pressures, they continue to prioritize their employees because they want to retain talent after the "great exit," PwC global president Bob Moritz said in a press release.

According to Moritz, businesses that want to endure and prosper must strike a balance between managing short-term risks and long-term consequences.

According to the study, the top concerns of CEOs for the next five years are inflation (40%), followed by macroeconomic instability (31%) and geopolitical conflict (25%).

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According to the study, 52% of CEOs are cutting expenses, 51% are raising prices, and 48% are diversifying their product lines. 60% of businesses claim they will not reduce staff in the coming year.

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