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CEOs say they expect a global recession, but express little long-term concern

Hundreds Fanned Out
Posted at 12:41 PM, Oct 04, 2022

A survey of 500 CEOs worldwide indicated that business leaders expect a global recession in the next 12 months. According to the 2022 KPMG CEO Outlook, 86% of CEOs expect a recession to occur in the next 12 months.

Despite the expectation of a recession, most believe a potential recession would be short-lived and relatively mild. Nearly 7 in 10 CEOs say they expect the global economy to grow in the next three years.

When asked what they were most concerned about, 15% said pandemic fatigue, compared to 14% who said a recession.

“Tested by enormous challenges in quick succession — a global pandemic, inflationary pressures and geopolitical tensions — it’s encouraging that CEOs, surveyed in our 2022 CEO Outlook, were confident in their companies’ resilience and relatively optimistic in their own growth prospects,” said KPMG CEO Bill Thomas.

Although CEOs are not expressing much concern over a global recession, rank-and-file employees may have more reason to be nervous about a recession. Three-quarters of CEOs said they are considering a hiring freeze in the next six months, and 80% say it’s possible they will downsize their workforce.

The U.S. Federal Reserve has raised interest rates several times this year to curb inflation. However, some have feared that the measures meant to slow inflation could send the U.S. into a recession.

While there is no universal definition of a recession, many define a recession as a period of two quarters in a row with negative economic growth.