Corporate leaders have grown a lot more pessimistic about the world economy due to trade disputes and tense relations between major powers, a survey shows.

The annual report by the London-based audit and consultancy company, Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC), found that 29% of respondents believe global economic growth will decline over the next 12 months, a six-fold increase on the previous year.

“It’s quite a reversal from last year and the gloomier mood cuts across just about everywhere in the world,” said Bob Moritz, PwC global chairman. “With the rise of trade tension and protectionism, it stands to reason that confidence is waning,” he is quoted as saying.

The most pronounced shift was among business leaders in the United States as well as in Switzerland, according to the report.

Nearly half of the CEOs from the 30 Swiss listed companies said they believe the growth rate will fall.

Andreas Staubli, head of PwC Switzerland told the Keystone-SDA news agency that international and national political issues as well as the strength of the Swiss franc were the main factors for the gloomy outlook.

The surveyexternal link of nearly 1,400 CEO was conducted in 91 countries between September and October 2018.

It was published on the eve of the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in the Swiss mountain resort of Davos.

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