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PwC survey: global CEO pessimism at its worst since 2009

By Lawrence Gash

Only 27 per cent of bosses questioned are 'very confident' of prosperous 2020

Chief executive officers around the world are increasingly pessimistic about the future of the global economy, according to a leading survey.

PricewaterhouseCoopers’ (PwC) Annual Global CEO Survey polled 1,581 CEOs in 83 countries between September and October last year and found that only 27 per cent were “very confident” that 2020 will be a prosperous year.

With 838 business leaders predicting a decline in global economic growth this year, CEOs are at their most bearish since 2009.

The PwC report was published as the world’s financial elite and political leaders were meeting at Davos for the World Economic Forum. In a regression analysis on the change in CEO bullishness the accounting firm found that global GDP growth is expected to decline this year.

PwC said: "The change in CEOs' revenue confidence has proven to be a reliable indicator of both the direction and the level of global GDP growth in the year ahead.”

Concern was not limited to macroeconomic projections. The report found that “in almost every region, they show significantly diminished confidence in their own organisation’s 12-month revenue growth prospects”.

Such pessimism is increasingly commonplace. This week the International Monetary Fund (IMF) downgraded its forecasts for 2020 growth. Ans last week a Deloitte survey found that 97 per cent of leading chief financial officers in North America thought a slowdown had begun already or will start this year.

FURTHER READING: JPMorgan Chase enjoys the best year for any US bank on record

FURTHER READING: Global leaders head to Davos 2020

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