Executives are worried about what’s in frontpage news these days.
McKinsey’s Economic Conditions Snapshot for September shows that a record number of business executives are concerned about the impact that geopolitical instability could have on economic growth.
More than 80% of respondents said that geopolitical crises in North Africa and the Middle East are “likely or extremely likely to shock the global economy in the coming year.” The last time the category had this many votes was in September 2013, when the US was considering possible military intervention against Syria for its use of chemical weapons.
Their current survey had responses from 1,202 executives around the world.
This chart shows that just less than a year ago in December, conflicts were not the most important thing on their minds.
There hasn’t been a shortage of headlines in the last few weeks, from airstrikes against ISIS in Syria to massive protests in Hong Kong.
Business leaders in North America are the most worried that all this would dent their local economies, as this chart shows.
The report continues: “After nine months of mostly positive sentiments on the progress of the world economy, executives have changed their tune. Now only 37 percent say global conditions have improved in the past six months, down from 56 percent in June—and a much smaller share than the 53 percent who, in March, believed global conditions would improve by now.”