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PwC's survey of CEOs in Davos shows record level of pessimism

By Barun Jha
January 21, 2020 12:10 IST
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A record level of pessimism has creeped into the CEOs across the world regarding the worldwide economic growth, a much sought after survey showed in Davos on the first evening of the WEF annual meeting. 

IMAGE: A police officer stands guard near the Congress Center ahead of the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, on January 20, 2020. Photograph: Denis Balibouse / Reuters.

For the first time, more than half of the CEOs surveyed by global consultancy PwC said they believe the rate of global GDP growth will decline. 

In comparison, the survey had found a record level of optimism among CEOs two years ago in 2018. 


In the latest survey, only 27 per cent of CEOs said they are “'very confident” in their prospects for revenue growth in 2020, a low level not seen since 2009. 

The survey covered nearly 1,600 CEOs in 83 territories.


While 53 per cent projected a decline in global economic growth (up sharply from 29 per cent last year), only 22 per cent expected improvement (down from 42 per cent). 

In 2018, a record high of 57 per cent had expected an improvement in global GDP. 

China was the only major economy where CEO confidence has gone up regarding the 2020 revenue growth prospects of their companies.

Barun Jha is a journalist with the Press Trust of India. He can be contacted at

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