Business leaders around the world are more pessimistic about economic growth in 2019.
After two years of sustained economic growth--which in the U.S. elicited pre-recession levels of business confidence--the global economy is starting to slow.
That's according to a new report from the International Monetary Fund, which slashed its forecast for world economic growth in 2019 to 3.5 percent, down from its two previous forecasts of 3.7 in October and 3.9 percent in July. Speaking at a news conference in Davos, Switzerland, where the World Economic Forum is currently meeting, Christine Lagarde, the IMF's managing director, was quick to bat away global recession concerns. She cautioned that global expansion has weakened, and that "the risk of a sharper decline in global growth has certainly increased," The Wall Street Journal reports.
That bleak view is mirrored by Seth A. Klarman, who runs the $27 billion Boston-based hedge fund Baupost Group. "It can't be business as usual amid constant protests, riots, shutdowns, and escalating social tensions," he wrote, wondering when investors will take "more notice of this." He added: "Social cohesion is essential for those who have capital to invest."
The pessimistic outlook is taking root among global CEOs, according to a recent survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers. Nearly 30 percent of more than 1,300 CEOs around the world believe global growth will decline in the next 12 months, which is roughly six times higher than last year, according to CNBC.