On January 8, 2014, The Conference Board and PwC released the 4th Quarter Measure Of CEO Confidence. The overall measure of CEO Confidence was at 60, up from 54 in the third quarter. [note: a reading of more than 50 points reflects more positive than negative responses]
Notable excerpts from this January 8 Press Release include:
CEOs’ assessment of current economic conditions increased significantly. Now, 44 percent say conditions are better compared to six months ago, up from 33 percent in the third quarter. Business leaders are also more positive about conditions in their own industries. Approximately 41 percent say conditions in their own industries have improved, up from 32 percent last quarter.
CEOs’ short-term outlook has also improved. Currently, 50 percent of business leaders expect economic conditions to improve over the next six months, up from 42 percent in the third quarter. Expectations for their own industries are also more upbeat, with 47 percent of CEOs anticipating an improvement in conditions in the months ahead, up from 34 percent last quarter.
The Business Roundtable also released its CEO Economic Outlook Survey for the 4th Quarter of 2013 last month. Notable excerpts from the December 3 release, titled “CEOs Forecast Uptick in Sales, Investment & Hiring Over Next Six Months” include the following:
Results of Business Roundtable’s (BRT) fourth quarter 2013 CEO Economic Outlook Survey show a modest uptick in CEO expectations for the economy over the next six months, with expectations for sales, capital expenditures and hiring increasing from the third quarter of 2013. The Business Roundtable CEO Economic Outlook Index increased to 84.5 from 79.1 in the previous quarter, and expectations for 2014 GDP growth remained in line with the previous two quarters at 2.2 percent.
In a question posed annually in the fourth quarter, 39 percent of CEOs reported that regulatory costs were the top cost pressure facing their business over the next six months, followed by labor and health care costs. Regulatory costs were also the CEOs’ top concern in the fourth quarter of 2012.
I post various economic forecasts because I believe they should be carefully monitored. However, as those familiar with this blog are aware, I do not necessarily agree with many of the consensus estimates and much of the commentary in these forecast surveys.
The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation
SPX at 1823.63 as this post is written