Some 65 per cent of respondents to the survey said they thought that conditions in the economy would decline in the coming months – though most thought the climate would improve next year.
Of these worries, by some way the biggest was the Eurozone, with 84 per cent citing it as their weightiest concern. Almost a quarter said it was unlikely that the euro would even exist in two years.
But chiefs vested much more optimism in emerging markets, particularly China.
Though 60 per cent called the US the world’s current economic leader, compared to 31 per cent handing the accolade to China, just 25 per cent thought the US would be the world’s top economy in 10 years, versus 46 per cent who said China would take the throne.
And 31 per cent of these executives also thought London’s place as the world’s financial centre would be taken by New York in the next five years – compared to 21 per cent who thought London would still wear the crown then, equal to the proportion opting for Shanghai.