Economic threats such as recession and inflation are among the most significant risks to Australia and other G20 nations, according to Zurich Financial Services Australia.
Based on the Executive Opinion Survey from the World Economic Forum conducted in collaboration with Zurich, 11,000 business leaders from over 110 countries gave their take on the key risks they believe pose a threat to their nation over the next two years.
The survey found that an economic downturn ranked as the top risk in nine out of 10 regions and in 13 of the G20 countries, including Australia and New Zealand (ANZ).
Inflation, meanwhile, was identified as a top-three risk in all regions, ranking second for ANZ.
Commenting on the findings, Zurich ANZ chief executive officer Justin Delaney said: “Gaining insights into the risk perceptions of leaders from across the globe is now more important than ever as we collectively seek to build resilience to these threats.”
Moreover, energy supply shortages ranked third for ANZ, while extreme weather events, such as floods and storms, came in at fourth– making it the only top environmental risk in the region.
Rounding out the top five risks for the region was household debt, diverging somewhat from the aggregate global survey result, where this factor ranked 20th.
“As with previous years, many of the risks forecast in the last survey have already come to fruition. Considering the top ranked risks in this year’s survey, it is unsurprising to see economic threats causing the most concern,” Mr Delaney explained.
“Likewise, energy supply shortages and extreme weather are both key and intertwined risks for Australia in the coming years.”
Societal threats such as the erosion of social cohesion and wellbeing were also identified as a top-five risk factor across the G20.
However, technological risks, including threats relating to cyber and artificial intelligence, were only identified three times in the G20 top five rankings.
“In a broader context, the findings highlight strikingly common concerns between both advanced economies and emerging markets. This year’s survey highlights how, even before the current conflict in the Middle East, increasingly interconnected economic and societal risks were perceived as the biggest concerns across the G20 with a backdrop of escalating global political tensions and persistent inflation in many major economies,” Mr Delaney concluded.