Thought Leadership

Even While Expecting a Recession, CEOs Maintain Positive 3-Year Outlook

Around the world, 86 percent of CEOs surveyed believe a recession will occur during the next 12 months, even as 71 percent maintain an optimistic three-year economic forecast. In professional-service firm KPMG’s “2022 CEO Outlook,” 85 percent of respondents expect growth in 2022, down slightly from 87 percent in 2021.

At the same time, 73 percent of CEO respondents believe a recession will upend growth over the next three years. Seventy-five percent also believe a recession will make post-pandemic recovery more complex. Fifty-eight percent of CEOs surveyed feel the recession will be mild and short.

While the next six months will likely be fraught with uncertainty and change, 73 percent of CEOs express confidence in the global economy’s resilience. Seventy-six percent say they have plans to deal with a recession. CEOs say they intend to boost productivity, manage costs and reconsider digital-transformation strategies to achieve long-term growth.

The CEOs also cite pandemic fatigue and the threats of rising interest rates and inflation as pressing concerns. Emerging technology has become the top risk and most significant threat to organizational growth, KPMG’s report says. For CEOs, operational, regulatory and reputational concerns also jumped into their top five.

Eighty-one percent of CEOs surveyed say they’ve adjusted or plan to adjust their risk-management procedures to account for geopolitical risk. And T.V. Narendran, CEO of Tata Steel, calls geopolitical issues “the number-one risk,” adding, “We all need to build optimized and resilient supply chains.”

[Illustration credit: higherbound]

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