The theme of geopolitical tension was also detected as a global threat to business in Allianz’s 2019 Risk Barometer, published on Tuesday.
Allianz’s survey of global companies found that business interruption — arising from issues such as new tariffs and trade disputes — was the biggest threat to firms worldwide. Changes in legislation and regulation — arising from issues such as Brexit — were also seen as a threat, with almost a third of companies citing it as a concern.
Ludovic Subran, the deputy chief economist for Allianz, told CNBC via email that the U.S.’s end-of-year trade truce with China was only postponing the growing U.S.-China rivalry.
“Some countries have beefed up anti-acquisition legislations, others fear further sanctions. Supply chains are at risk, and trade diversion starts to be a conversation in the boardroom to avoid negative effects of the new trade regime,” he said.
“In 2019, risks loom for Europe with tense elections, fewer growth prospects for the euro zone and Brexit fatigue. What looks like a soft landing could become a forced landing if negative political outcomes and surprising regulatory moves spook investors and companies.”