On January 8, 2015, The Conference Board and PwC released the 4th Quarter Measure Of CEO Confidence. The overall measure of CEO Confidence was at 60, up from 59 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 was virtually unchanged. Approximately 52 percent claim conditions are better compared to six months ago, about the same as in the third quarter of 2014. Business leaders’ appraisal of conditions in their own industries increased slightly, with 43 percent saying conditions in their own industries have improved, compared with 41 percent in the previous quarter.
CEOs’ expectations regarding the short-term outlook were more optimistic. About 49 percent of business leaders anticipate economic conditions will improve over the next six months, up from 44 percent in the previous quarter. However, 46 percent expect conditions to remain the same. Expectations for their own industries remain subdued, with 36 percent of CEOs anticipating an improvement, up from 34 percent in the third quarter. About 53 percent expect no change in conditions.
The Business Roundtable also released its CEO Economic Outlook Survey for the 4th Quarter of 2014 last month. Notable excerpts from the December 2 release, titled “CEOs Forecast Weak Economic Growth in 2015”:
The Business Roundtable fourth quarter 2014 CEO Economic Outlook Index ‒ which provides a picture of the future direction of the U.S. economy based upon CEOs’ plans for sales, capital spending and hiring ‒ declined moderately from the third quarter, with capital spending declining the most.
CEOs said they expect 2015 gross domestic product growth of 2.4 percent, unchanged from their 2014 expectation.
The Business Roundtable CEO Economic Outlook Index – a composite index of CEO expectations for the next six months of sales, capital spending and employment – decreased moderately in the fourth quarter of 2014 to 85.1 from 86.4 in the third quarter of 2014. The long-term average of the Index is 80.3.
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 2062.14 as this post is written