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CEOs at Davos less optimistic about global economy

CEOs at Davos less optimistic about global economy

More than twice as many chief executives are now convinced that prospects for the global economy over the next 12 months are relatively poor compared to last year, according to a report released Tuesday. PricewaterhouseCoopers’ 18th Annual Global CEO Survey, unveiled in Davos at the opening of the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting, found 17% of corporate bosses believe global economic growth will decline or be subdued in 2015. That’s up from the 7% who felt so last year.635573160376292992-EPA-CHINA-IMF-WORLD-ECONOMIC-OUTLOOK

The remaining chief executives expect economic conditions to remain steady. The survey canvassed more than 1,300 CEOs from around the world. Perhaps more significantly, the company bosses polled in the report ranked the USA as their most important market for growth in the coming year. That places the USA ahead of China for the first time since PwC’s survey was started five years ago.

Some of that reduced optimism for Asia’s largest economy may be related to an economic slowdown there. Official figures released Tuesday show China’s growth slowed in 2014 to 7.4% from 7.7% in 2013. The International Monetary Fund forecasts that China’s GDP in 2015 will lessen its pace further — to 6.3%. For years, China enjoyed growth of around 10%. The 7.4% growth rate was China’s lowest since 1990.

“We shouldn’t forget that China is still growing strongly in relation to other large economies,” said John B. Veihmeyer, global chairman of KPMG, an accounting firm and consultancy. “The businesses we advise welcome the fact that the Chinese government is continuing to press ahead with the structural reforms needed to re-balance and strengthen the Chinese economy for long term, sustainable growth.”

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