Project Management Institute

Economic Snapshot

Perceived Economic Conditions Have Declined

In the most recent economic snapshot survey, respondents’ assessment of global economic conditions has declined. When evaluating current global economic conditions as opposed to conditions six month ago, respondent sentiment has declined compared to Q1 2018 (31% vs. 37%). Similarly, the future outlook of global economic conditions in the next six months as opposed to today is grim compared to Q1 2018 (41% vs. 53%).

When asked to assess the financial health of their organizations, nearly two-fifths (39%) report it to be better as opposed to six months ago – a sharp decrease compared to the nearly half (48%) who report better financial health in the same period of time.

Projects Remain Stable

Over the past six months, the proportion of respondents that report their organization has cancelled or delayed schedule projects due to recent economic conditions remained relatively stable compared the proportion of respondents in Q1 2018 (30% vs. 28%). Additionally, over one-quarter of respondents (28%) believe their organization will resume projects within the next six months that have been cancelled or delayed due to economic conditions. Moreover, over half of respondents (51%) believe that more than 75% of their organization’s current projects will meet their original goals and business intent within the next six months. Over half of respondents (53%) believe their organization’s completed projects will realize more than 75% of their identified or intended benefits within the next six months.

Hiring Forecast

The results from Q1 2019 show that hiring within organizations has slowed compared to this time last year. Overall employment decreased compared to this time last year (90% vs. 94%), along with a decrease on the proportion of respondents who report the percentage of full-time project managers has increased within their organization compared to Q1 2018 (30% vs. 34%). Over a third of respondents (36%) believe the number of full-time project managers in their organization will increase within the next six months. Compared to Q1 2018, the proportion of respondents remained relatively the same among those who report the overall percentage of contract project managers has increased (25% vs. 26%). About a third (31%) believe the number of contract project managers in their organization will increase within the next six months.

The proportion of respondents who report their organizations have increased internal training for project managers in the past six months has remained the same compared to Q1 2018 (28%).

Technical training was the most cited training type provided to internal project managers according to nearly one-third of respondents (30%).

Biggest Potential Risks

When asked about potential risks to the growth of their organization within the next six months, over two-thirds (69%) report that economic instability is the biggest potential risk, followed by political risks & violence (43%), and disruptive technologies (32%). These same three potential risks are also most concerning to respondents in their future outlook, with over two-fifths (44%) reporting that economic stability is the most concerning potential risk.

Among respondents who are most concerned about disruptive technologies impacting the growth of their organization, a third expect artificial intelligence (AI) to have the most disruptive impact on businesses in their sector within the next six months.

About the Snapshot

The PMI Economic Snapshot Survey is sent to a random global sample of 2,000 PMI members and certification holders on a quarterly basis.

Please direct questions about the study to