2019 Economic outlook

Highlights from our January Webcast discussion with Leo Abruzzese, the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Global Director of Public Policy.

Our January 17, 2019 Webcast featured Leo Abruzzese, the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Global Director of Public Policy, who discussed the outlook for the U.S. and global economy in the upcoming year. Abruzzese focused on trends and challenges shaping corporate growth, employment, trade, and the general operating environment amid political and market volatility around the world.

The 60-minute Webcast also discussed the critical issues and priorities shaping audit committee and board agendas in 2019, as well as legal/regulatory developments impacting corporate governance

Full webcast replay available

Webcast survey results*


In your view, what is the greatest risk to the health of the U.S. economy over the next 12 – 18 months?


 Recession / end of the buisness / growth cycle   38%
 Trade barriers / tariffs  32%
 Slowdown of China's economy  13%
 Rising interest rates    6%
 U.S. deficit    4%
 Impact of Brexit    2%
 Climate severity    1%
 Stagnant wages / consumer purchasing power     1%
 Financial systemic risk     1%
 Other     3%

If the risk of economic recession heightens, what will be your company’s top area of focus or concern?


 General scenario planning   27%
 Cutting costs   20%
 Liquidity / access to capital / cash flow   20%
 Capital allocation   14%
 Third-party exposure     6%
 Hedging (commodities, currencies, interest rates)     4%
 Fair value / asset impairments     2%
 Unclear      8%

Has your audit committee discussed with the external auditor the PCAOB’s new requirements related to the reporting of critical audit matters (CAMS)?


 Yes   55%
 No   29%
 Unclear   17%

To what extent do you anticipate your audit committee’s time commitment changing in 2019 compared to 2018?


 Significantly greater time commitment     7%
 Moderately greater time commitment   46%
 No change   39%
 Less time commitment     1%
 Unclear     7%

*Among 342 audit committee members and chairs, other directors, C-suite executives and corporate secretaries.