A pedestrian walks along Wall Street near the New York Stock Exchange. Photographer: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg

Davos 2019: Chief Executives Around The World Are Turning Pessimistic 

Chief executive officers around the world are increasingly concerned about the risks that emerged last year and now threaten to cripple the global economic growth. That’s according to the annual PwC survey which shows a rise in the number of CEOs expecting global growth to decline.

“The level of confidence has decreased,” Bob Moritz, global chairman of PwC, told BloombergQuint on the sidelines of World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. “You found a tremendous amount of optimism last year. That's done a 180-degree turn. The pessimism you had last year was a relatively small number. It has risen almost six-fold this year.”

There is an increasing amount of risk around the world and some of it’s pretty profound when we see trade issues coming to life, [such as] the government shutdown in U.S., the uncertainty with Brexit.
Bob Moritz, Global Chairman, PwC

The consultancy firm which releases its CEO survey ever year at Davos found that the number of such executives expecting growth to decline rose to 29 percent compared with 5 percent in the previous year. The respondents that expect growth to improve has also fallen to 42 percent in 2019 compared with 57 percent last year.

However, it is different for India, Moritz said. “India generally is seen as a big opportunity when you look at the availability of resources, when you look at the consumer needs, the rising demographic of the population and the need for better infrastructure to support the billion-plus population that is there,” he said.

Moritz also praised the steps that the Narendra Modi administration has taken which have helped businesses turn confident on India. “What Prime Minister Modi has done in terms of infrastructure and around healthcare, and how to use automation and technology to do that in a faster way is important. He has done that in the banking system to provide quicker access of capital. There’s a lot more optimism when you look at the underlying megatrends in India.”