SURVEY

CEOs pessimistic about 2020 global economic growth - survey

In Summary
  • The pessimism by captain of industries is the highest in a decade, with such levels last witnessed in 2009. 
  • The high level of pessimism is attributed to over-regulation, rising trade wars, cybersecurity threats and rising negative effects of climate change.
PWC building located along the Waiyaki way. Photo/File
PWC building located along the Waiyaki way. Photo/File

World business leaders predict a decline in the 2020 economic growth but those from East Africa expressed optimism of good tidings.

The annual Price water house Coopers CEO Survey released on Tuesday shows 53 per cent of business leaders predicted a decline, up from 29 per cent last year and five per cent in 2018. 

The pessimism by captains of industries is the highest in a decade, with such levels last witnessed in 2009. 

 

Of 1,581 officers sampled from 83 countries, 24 per cent predict the economy will stagnate with only 22 per cent seeing an improvement. 

The high level of pessimism is attributed to over-regulation, rising trade wars, cybersecurity threats and rising negative effects of climate change.

''This caution has translated into CEOs’ low confidence in their own organisation’s outlook. Only 27 per cent of CEOs are ‘very confident’ in their prospects for revenue growth in 2020, a low level not seen since 2009,'' PWC said.

While 20 per cent of business leaders in Africa have predicted economic growth, those from East Africa are the most optimistic in the world, with 30 per cent hoping for growth.

At least 28 per cent of CEOs in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, and South Sudan expect their firms to generate more revenue during the year compared to 27 per cent last year.

Globally, CEOs named overregulation, trade conflicts and uncertain economic growth at 36,35 and 34 per cent as key concerns that may hurt growth. 

Those in East Africa, however, are uncertain about the tax regime. They named over-regulation, policy uncertainty, increase in tax obligation and tax uncertainty as primary threats to growth.

''When you look at the type of risks that CEOs identify, regulation continues to be a huge challenge consistently around the world. It may vary country by country, but the overall regulation issue is still a big phenomenon,'' PwC's global chairman Bob Moritz said in a statement. 

Chief executives' prediction mirrors that of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) which cut global growth forecast for 2020 by 10 basis points from 3.4 per cent last year on rising uncertainties in the world. 

The survey is coming just hours after the 50th World Economic Forum kicked off in the Swiss city of Davos where top political and business leaders are expected to among other things discuss the effects of climate change on the economy.