IN SYNC

More CEOs in every region of the world say global economic growth will slow this year

All together now.
All together now.
Image: Reuters/Mike Segar
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If we learned anything from last year’s meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF), it’s that countries around the world were experiencing synchronous growth, meaning CEOs across regions were even more aligned than usual in their optimism about the global economy.

What we’re already learning at this year’s forum is that the synchrony works the other way, too.

In every region of the world, more CEOs than last year now believe global economic growth will decline over the next 12 months. That’s according to PwC’s annual global CEO survey, the results of which were released on the sidelines of the official WEF proceedings. The growing bearishness is stark, as is the degree to which it is shared by business leaders regardless of their geography.

The growing concern was validated today by the IMF, which predicted global economic growth would slow from an estimated 3.7% in 2018 to 3.5% in 2019. The latter forecast is 0.2 percentage points lower than the projection the IMF made just three months ago.

But CEOs are a generally optimistic bunch. Projecting confidence is simply part of the job—which might explain why 42% of them still think global economic growth will improve this year.