CEOs anticipate a recession — but they’re prepared
While confidence is up over the next 3 years, CEOs anticipate challenges in the shorter term. Nearly nine out of 10 (86 percent) CEOs believe a recession will happen over the next 12 months, but three out of five (58 percent) feel it will be mild and short and 76 percent have plans in place to deal with it. In spite of short-term recession fears, the increased confidence CEOs have for the longer term indicates they feel well prepared to navigate their businesses through turbulent times. In fact, when asked about their confidence in the resiliency of the global economy over the next 6 months — a period likely to be fraught with uncertainty and constant change — 73 percent still had a positive outlook, up 13 percentage points from February 2022.
While CEOs may be resilient, they’re also realistic about the challenges ahead. Seventy-three percent of CEOs believe a recession will upend anticipated growth over the next 3 years, and three-quarters (75 percent) also believe a recession will make post-pandemic recovery harder. Seventy-one percent of CEOs predict a recession will impact company earnings by up to 10 percent over the next 12 months.
Compared to 2019 and 2020, CEOs are better prepared to weather short-term challenges with resiliency measures in place, while still anticipating long-term growth. The top three steps include: boosting productivity (50 percent), managing costs (43 percent) and reconsidering digital transformation strategies (40 percent).