In economics, headwinds are adverse conditions in the general economy, or in a specific market sector.
- Economic headwinds slow M&A
- "In [Mergermarket's] assessment, following a peak in the M&A cycle during the first half of last year, increased market volatility, geopolitical tensions between the US and China, Brexit anxiety in Europe and tougher economic headwinds have precipitated a slowdown."
- The Treasurer magazine, 17 May 2019, web exclusive.
The term derives from shipping and air travel, where a headwind is one blowing in the opposite direction from the one you are aiming to move in.