CEOs are more pessimistic than they have been in a decade

American industry leaders are pessimistic about global economic growth next year.

Three-quarters of CEOs surveyed by accounting and consulting firm PwC expect global economic growth to slow over the next 12 months. That compares with last year, when 77% of CEOs expected positive global growth.

Their pessimism stems from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which sparked Europe’s biggest land war since World War II, sending energy and commodity prices soaring, labor and inflation soaring.

CEO confidence in their own companies’ growth prospects is also the lowest it has been since 2009, according to PwC, which surveyed more than 4,400 CEOs worldwide.

Business leaders expect a dramatic reshaping of the business environment over the next 10 years, which will require significant changes in their operations.

Nearly 40% of CEOs surveyed by PwC do not believe their businesses will be viable a decade from now on their current path as consumer preferences, work challenges and other factors change. In the short term, CEOs are most concerned about inflation, economic volatility and geopolitical risk, according to the survey.

The near-term outlook for some leading economists is also bleak. Two-thirds of respondents to the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, in November and December expect a global recession in 2023.

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That includes 18% of respondents who see a recession in the coming year as “extremely likely.” That’s more than double the share of economists who expected a recession in a survey in September.

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