More than 60% of CEOs globally believe a recession is coming

According to a new survey, more than 60% of CEOs globally say they expect a recession in their primary region of operations before the end of 2023 or earlier, with 15% saying that their region is already in a recession.

This figure stood at 22% late last year and 39% at the end of 2020, indicating that CEOs had a more optimistic economic outlook during the pandemic than they do currently.

With widespread fears emerging, we’ve created a handy guide to help businesses prepare themselves for a recession.

The C-Suite Outlook midyear survey, which was carried out by business research firm The Conference Board and conducted between May 10 and May 24, surveyed 750 CEOs and other C-suite executives.

According to the survey, CEOs and other C-suite executives believe the War in Ukraine is helping to fuel inflation through energy price volatility and higher costs for scarce inputs. However, most CEOs favour the implementation of secondary sanctions despite having concerns about the consequences resulting from the already-imposed sanctions.

CEOs are concerned about growing cyber risks resulting from an escalation of the war. They also believe growing tensions between the US and China will have a major impact on business operations in the next year, with fears of competing economic blocs emerging, which will have significant long-term consequences.

However, in order to ensure business growth over the next two to three years, CEOs say they are investing in digital transformation, developing new lines of business, upskilling and retraining existing employees, strengthening the corporate culture, and increasing productivity in their hybrid work models.

The survey also asked CEOs which government policy actions would most help them to thrive, with CEOs saying lower taxes, public investment, fewer regulations, and an effective government energy transition plan would hep them most.