CEO recession fears climb

Recession is now the top concern among CEOs heading into 2020, according to a survey of 740 global CEOs reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

The survey, conducted by business research group the Conference Board from September to October, found economic decline is a growing fear among CEOs. Last year, recession ranked third among fears for U.S. CEOs, but first for CEOs globally. In 2018, recession wasn't noted as a large concern.

CEOs are increasingly anxious about a host of issues, including trade and climate change, according to WSJ. In 2019, gross domestic product fell to 2.3 percent from 3 percent in 2018 across the world. GDP is expected to grow slightly to 2.5 percent this year.

As 2020 begins, competition will intensify, the labor market will tighten and political instability around the world will fuel CEOs' fears. The Conference Board warned that so, too, will CEOs' own qualms, which can have consequences for the economy whether they are real or not.

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