On April 8, 2015, The Conference Board and PwC released the 1st Quarter Measure Of CEO Confidence. The overall measure of CEO Confidence was at 57, down 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 8 Press Release include:
CEOs’ appraisal of current economic conditions was more positive than last quarter. Approximately 55 percent claim conditions were better compared to six months ago, up from 52 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014. However, business leaders’ assessment of conditions in their own industries declined. Now, just 35 percent say conditions in their own industries have improved, compared with 43 percent last quarter.
CEOs were more pessimistic regarding the short-term outlook. About 38 percent of business leaders anticipate economic conditions will improve over the next six months, down from 49 percent last quarter. Expectations for their own industries, however, were down moderately, with 34 percent of CEOs anticipating an improvement, compared to 36 percent in the fourth quarter of last year.
The Business Roundtable last month also released its CEO Economic Outlook Survey for the 1st Quarter of 2015. Notable excerpts from the March 3 release, titled “Modest Uptick in Business Optimism, Especially for Investment, but Still Below Economy’s Full Potential”:
The Business Roundtable released its first quarter 2015 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. The overall Index is up from the fourth quarter of 2014, but has been in the same general range for the past year and a half. The six-month outlook for sales hit a three-year high this quarter.
CEOs said they expect 2015 gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 2.8 percent, slightly below consensus estimates, but a 0.4 percentage point increase over their projection from the fourth quarter of 2014.
The Business Roundtable CEO Economic Outlook Index – a composite index of CEO plans for the next six months of sales, capital spending and employment – rebounded in the first quarter of 2015 to 90.8 from 85.1 in the fourth quarter of 2014. The long-term average of the Index is 80.5.
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 2102.31 as this post is written