On April 9, 2014, The Conference Board and PwC released the 1st Quarter Measure Of CEO Confidence. The overall measure of CEO Confidence was at 63, up from 60 in the fourth quarter. [note: a reading of more than 50 points reflects more positive than negative responses]
Notable excerpts from this April 9 Press Release include:
CEOs’ assessment of current economic conditions continued to improve. Now, 54 percent claim conditions are better compared to six months ago, up from 44 percent last quarter. Business leaders are also more optimistic about conditions in their own industries. Approximately 47 percent say conditions in their own industries have improved, compared with 41 percent last quarter.
CEOs’ short-term outlook also improved considerably. Currently, 60 percent of business leaders anticipate economic conditions will improve over the next six months, up from 50 percent in the fourth quarter of last year. Expectations for their own industries are more upbeat, with 52 percent of CEOs anticipating an improvement in conditions in the months ahead, up from 47 percent last quarter.
The Business Roundtable also released its CEO Economic Outlook Survey for the 1st Quarter of 2014 last month. Notable excerpts from the March 18 release, titled “CEOs Expect Continued Slow GDP Growth with Moderate Increases in Sales, Hiring and Investment” include the following:
Results from the Business Roundtable’s first quarter 2014 CEO Economic Outlook Survey show a moderate uptick in CEO expectations for hiring, sales and capital expenditures and some improvement in the Business Roundtable CEO Economic Outlook Index. But the survey’s expectation for 2014 GDP growth was 2.4 percent, representing below-normal growth compared to past economic recoveries. This latest reading follows an expectation for 2.2 percent growth in the CEO survey taken in the fourth quarter last year.
The survey results showed that 72 percent of CEOs anticipate sales will increase in the next six months, but only 37 percent expect to add U.S. employees and less than half expect to increase their companies’ U.S. capital investment.
The Business Roundtable CEO Economic Outlook Index – a composite index of CEO expectations for the next six months of sales, capital spending and employment – increased in the first quarter of 2014 to 92.1 from 84.5 in the fourth quarter of 2013. The Index now stands above its long-term average level of 79.7.
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 1872.18 as this post is written