Here’s how Global CEOs think the coronavirus recovery will look as business activity plunges
The majority of CEOs around the world expect a slow U-shaped recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new report looking at the impact of the disease on global business.
Around 61% see a sharp recession followed by a longer recovery, a survey of 3,400 chief executives across 109 countries carried out by global leadership network YPO found.
More than a fifth of company bosses predicted a W-shaped curve – a double-dip recession and recovery, while 64% saw negative effects on revenues to be felt at least one year from now.
Recovery forecasts did not differ greatly by region but a higher proportion of CEOs in Africa – 68% – said their business was under “large or severe threat” from the pandemic than those in Europe – 55% – and the U.S. – 48%.
Just 9% of American bosses said their business was at risk of not surviving the crisis, while that number jumped to 16% among CEOs in Africa.
A string of economic data for April released on Thursday offered further insight into the scale of the damage being inflicted by coronavirus on countries worldwide as they remain in lockdown,
European business activity plunged to historic lows in April as the closely-followed eurozone composite purchasing managers’ index (PMI) fell to 13.5 – a reading below 50 indicates a contraction in output.
Business activity in the U.S. also suffered a record drop, with the composite PMI tracking the manufacturing and services sector falling to 27.4. A further 4.4 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, taking the total number of jobless claims due to coronavirus to 26 million.
Despite the data, the Dow Jones Industrial Average
climbed 1.4% – 326 points in early trading. ING chief international economist James Knightley said attention would turn to states partially re-opening this weekend – Georgia, Tennessee, South Carolina and Florida – for clues to the recovery ahead.
“We would assume jobless claims will fall back sharply here, but if consumers remain reluctant to go shopping or visit a restaurant due to lingering Covid-19 fears, then employment is not going to rebound quickly. As such it would be another signal that a V-shaped recovery for the U.S. economy is highly unlikely,” Knightley said.
The U.K.’s composite PMI slumped to 12.9 from 30 in March as Bank of England policymaker Jan Vlieghe said the U.K. was facing its worst slump “in the past century, or possibly several centuries.” He said the recovery would likely be U-shaped rather than V-shaped.