LONDON — A survey of dozens of Europe’s top business executives shows their optimism is waning as trade tensions and other geopolitical uncertainties cloud the outlook for the global economy.
A poll of 50 CEOs and chairmen carried out by German research group ZEW on behalf of the European Round Table for Industry, a trade association, shows that while the expectations for business remain slightly positive overall, employment and investment prospects are down.
Only about 25% of executives expect to increase investment in Europe in the next six months, with less than 50% expecting to create more jobs.
The findings highlight economists’ concerns that the stresses on manufacturing and trade created by the U.S.-China trade war and Brexit are affecting the wider economy.
“While European industry’s current outlook is broadly positive, there are real structural challenges,” said Martin Brudermueller, chairman of chemicals conglomerate BASF.