On April 6, 2017, The Conference Board released the 1st Quarter Measure Of CEO Confidence. The overall measure of CEO Confidence was at 68, up from 65 in the fourth quarter. [note: a reading of more than 50 points reflects more positive than negative responses]
Notable excerpts from this April 6 Press Release include:
CEOs’ assessment of current economic conditions improved further, with 71 percent saying conditions were better compared to six months ago, up from 59 percent in the final quarter of 2016. Business leaders were also considerably more positive in their assessment of current conditions in their own industries. Now, 60 percent state conditions in their own industries have improved versus 46 percent in the fourth quarter.
CEOs’ optimism regarding the short-term outlook for the economy eased slightly, but remains rather strong. Currently, 65 percent expect economic conditions to improve over the next six months, compared to approximately 67 percent last quarter. The outlook for their own industries, however, was more favorable, with 67 percent of CEOs anticipating an improvement over the next six months, up from 58 percent in the fourth quarter of 2016.
The Business Roundtable last month also released its CEO Economic Outlook Survey for the 1st Quarter of 2017. Notable excerpts from the March 14, 2017 release, titled “Business Leaders Positive on Economy: Expectations for Sales, Hiring & Investment Make Sharp Rise“:
The Business Roundtable CEO Economic Outlook Index — a composite of CEO projections for sales and plans for capital spending and hiring over the next six months — made its largest increase since the fourth quarter of 2009.
The Index jumped 19.1 points, from 74.2 in the fourth quarter of last year to 93.3 in the current quarter. For the first time in seven quarters, the Index has risen above its historical average of 79.8. Its highest level over the past 10 years was 113, reached in Q1 2011.
CEO plans for hiring increased by 18 points from the previous quarter, while expectations for sales and capital expenditures increased by 21 and 18.4 points, respectively, over the previous quarter.
CEOs project 2.2 percent GDP growth in 2017, a 0.2 percent increase over their projection for 2017 made last December.
I post various economic forecasts because I believe they should be carefully monitored. However, as those familiar with this site 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 2359.47 as this post is written