‘Companies fear protracted slump’

Updated May 20, 2020

Email

World Economic Forum's survey of 347 company risk managers looks at the biggest concerns for the next 18 months. — Reuters/File
World Economic Forum's survey of 347 company risk managers looks at the biggest concerns for the next 18 months. — Reuters/File

LONDON: A prolonged global slump and surge in bankruptcies arising from the coronavirus pandemic are the foremost concerns for companies surveyed in a World Economic Forum report on Tuesday.

However, the crisis also gives governments a “unique opportunity” to craft a healthier, climate-friendly economy as they intervene with huge rescue packages, the organisation said.

Its survey of 347 company risk managers looked at the biggest concerns for the next 18 months, after the pandemic shut down much of the world economy.

They identified the most likely fallout as an extended downturn, a jump in company failures allied with industry consolidation, and high youth unemployment.

The findings of the survey, conducted in the first half of April, were consistent with many economists’ forecasts that a rapid “V-shaped” recovery is unlikely.

A different poll on Monday said that a majority of some of Europe’s most powerful chief executives believe that the recovery will take up to two years.

The debt accrued in the rescue packages could depress government and corporate finances and retard growth for years, and also stymie efforts to combat climate change, the World Economic Forum survey said.

Published in Dawn, May 20th, 2020