Tag Archives: CFO and CEO Confidence

June 2016 Duke/CFO Global Business Outlook Survey – Notable Excerpts

On June 8, 2016 the June Duke/CFO Global Business Outlook was released.  It contains a variety of statistics regarding how CFOs view business and economic conditions.

In this CFO survey, I found the following to be the most notable excerpts – although I don’t necessarily agree with them:

Forty-seven percent of U.S. companies say they will pull back on spending or hiring due to concern about the political situation. Nearly 40 percent of U.S. CFOs indicate that they believe that foreign businesses are less willing to do business with the U.S. due to political uncertainty.

also:

“While the recent disappointing headline non-farm payrolls grabbed a lot of attention, our survey shows the aggregate numbers miss a crucial point. U.S. companies rate difficulty hiring and retaining skilled employees as their second biggest concern – while last year it ranked fifth,” said Fuqua professor Campbell R. Harvey, a founding director of the survey. “Business leaders plan to increase their workforce by 2 percent over the next year, which would reduce the unemployment rate to levels not seen since the late 1960s. CFOs are telling us that expected wage increases (3.3 percent) greatly outpace expected increases in product prices (1.5 percent).

“The tight labor market, combined with a skills mismatch between what companies want and what they can get, makes wage inflation inevitable,” Harvey said. “This is exactly the type of data that will energize the Fed to be more aggressive in hiking interest rates – despite the recent setback in non-farm payrolls.”

The CFO survey contains two Optimism Index charts, with the bottom chart showing U.S. Optimism (with regard to the economy) at 59.4, as seen below:

Duke CFO Survey June 2016 Optimism

It should be interesting to see how well the CFOs predict business and economic conditions going forward.   I discussed past various aspects of this, and the importance of these predictions, in the July 9, 2010 post titled “The Business Environment”.

(past posts on CEO and CFO surveys can be found under the “CFO and CEO Confidence” tag)

_____

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 2071.22 as this post is written

CEO Confidence Surveys 1Q 2016 – Notable Excerpts

On April 6, 2016, The Conference Board released the 1st Quarter Measure Of CEO Confidence.   The overall measure of CEO Confidence was at 47, up from 45 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’ appraisal of current economic conditions improved, with about 19 percent saying conditions are better compared to six months ago, up from 14 percent last quarter. Likewise, business leaders’ assessment of conditions in their own industries was also more positive, with 18 percent claiming conditions in their own industries have improved, versus just 11 percent in the previous quarter.

CEOs are less pessimistic regarding the short-term outlook, with 18 percent expecting economic conditions will improve over the next six months, up from 16 percent last quarter. The outlook for their own industries was also better, with 22 percent anticipating an improvement in the next six months, versus approximately 19 percent in the fourth quarter.

The Business Roundtable last month also released its CEO Economic Outlook Survey for the 1st Quarter of 2016.   Notable excerpts from the March 15, 2016 release, titled “CEOs:  Economy Still Performing Below Its Potential“:

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 — increased modestly from 67.5 in the fourth quarter of 2015 to 69.4 in the first quarter of 2016. The index remains near three-year lows.

CEO expectations for sales over the next six months increased by 8.5 points, and their plans for capital expenditures increased by 7.1 points, relative to last quarter. Hiring plans declined by nearly 10 points from last quarter.

In their second estimate of real GDP growth for 2016, CEOs expect 2.2 percent growth, down from their 2.4 percent estimate at the end of 2015.

_____

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 2066.66 as this post is written

March 2016 Duke/CFO Global Business Outlook Survey – Notable Excerpts

On March 9, 2016 the March Duke/CFO Global Business Outlook was released.  It contains a variety of statistics regarding how CFOs view business and economic conditions.

In this CFO survey, I found the following to be the most notable excerpts:

U.S. CFOs, on average, believe there is a 31 percent chance that the U.S. economy will be in recession by year-end 2016, double the 16 percent chance predicted just nine months ago. The executives say the biggest risk factors to cause recession are the slowdown in China (59 percent of CFOs assign China as a significant risk), political turmoil in the U.S. (53 percent), a stock market decline (50 percent) and the price of oil (40 percent).

also:

Among firms whose wage structures would be affected, about 20 percent say they would lay off current workers if the minimum wage is increased to $10 and 44 percent would slow future hiring. At a $15 wage, 41 percent would lay off current employees while 66 percent would slow future hiring. An increase to $8.75 would affect fewer firms, but among those, 11 percent say they would lay off current employees, and 36 percent say it would slow future hiring.

also:

Capital spending is expected to increase just 2 percent over the next year, down from 2.5 percent last quarter and the 5 percent growth predicted in June.

The CFO survey contains two Optimism Index charts, with the bottom chart showing U.S. Optimism (with regard to the economy) at 59, as seen below:

Duke CFO Survey optimism

It should be interesting to see how well the CFOs predict business and economic conditions going forward.   I discussed past various aspects of this, and the importance of these predictions, in the July 9, 2010 post titled “The Business Environment”.

(past posts on CEO and CFO surveys can be found under the “CFO and CEO Confidence” tag)

_____

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 1989.26 as this post is written

CEO Confidence Surveys 4Q 2015 – Notable Excerpts

On January 6, 2016, The Conference Board released the 4th Quarter Measure Of CEO Confidence.   The overall measure of CEO Confidence was at 45, down from 48 in the third quarter. [note:  a reading of more than 50 points reflects more positive than negative responses]

Notable excerpts from this January 6 Press Release include:

CEOs’ assessment of current economic conditions was less positive than in the third quarter. Now, 14 percent say conditions are better compared to six months ago, down from 19 percent last quarter. Likewise, business leaders’ assessment of conditions in their own industries was less positive, with 11 percent claiming conditions in their own industries have improved, compared with approximately 18 percent in the prior quarter.

CEOs remain pessimistic regarding the short-term outlook, with 16 percent expecting economic conditions to improve over the next six months, down from 22 percent last quarter. However, expectations for their own industries were slightly better. Now, close to 19 percent of CEOs anticipate an improvement in the next six months, up from 17 percent in the third quarter.

The Business Roundtable last month also released its CEO Economic Outlook Survey for the 4th Quarter of 2015.   Notable excerpts from the December 1, 2015 release, titled “CEO Expectations for the Economy Worsen“:

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 – declined 6.6 points, from 74.1 in the third quarter of 2015 to 67.5 in the fourth quarter. This third consecutive quarterly decline brought the Index to its lowest level in three years.

For the first six months of 2016, CEO expectations for sales decreased by 3.2 points and their plans for capital expenditures decreased by 16.7 points. Hiring plans were essentially unchanged from last quarter when they declined by nearly 8 points.

In their first estimate of real GDP growth for 2016, CEOs expect 2.4 percent growth.

_____

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 1915.35 as this post is written

December 2015 Duke/CFO Global Business Outlook Survey – Notable Excerpts

On December 9, 2015 the December Duke/CFO Global Business Outlook was released.  It contains a variety of statistics regarding how CFOs view business and economic conditions.

In this CFO survey, I found the following to be the most notable excerpts:

Business spending will be weak in 2016 because of slowing growth in China and low oil prices, according to a new survey. At the same time, employment should continue to make steady gains. These are key factors for the Federal Reserve in considering an interest rate hike later this month.

also:

Two-thirds of firms expect to increase employment in 2016, with the increase averaging about 2 percent. Employment growth will be strongest in services/consulting, retail/wholesale and construction. Manufacturing employment should shrink 1 percent.
CFOs list the difficulty in attracting and retaining qualified employees as one of their top three overall business concerns.

also:

Other factors have dampened productivity growth. Nearly 60 percent of U.S. firms say that regulation has negatively affected productivity, and nearly half say that weak economic conditions have hurt.

The CFO survey contains two Optimism Index charts, with the bottom chart showing U.S. Optimism (with regard to the economy) at 60, as seen below:

Duke CFO optimism chart

It should be interesting to see how well the CFOs predict business and economic conditions going forward.   I discussed various aspects of this, and the importance of these predictions, in the July 9, 2010 post titled “The Business Environment”.

(past posts on CEO and CFO surveys can be found under the “CFO and CEO Confidence” tag)

_____

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 2053.87 as this post is written

CEO Confidence Surveys 3Q 2015 – Notable Excerpts

On October 9, 2015, The Conference Board and PwC released the 3rd Quarter Measure Of CEO Confidence.   The overall measure of CEO Confidence was at 48, down from 58 in the second quarter. [note:  a reading of more than 50 points reflects more positive than negative responses]

Notable excerpts from this October 9 Press Release include:

CEOs’ assessment of current economic conditions was considerably less positive than in the second quarter. Now, just 19 percent say conditions are better compared to six months ago, down from 46 percent last quarter. Likewise, business leaders’ assessment of conditions in their own industries was less positive, with just 18 percent claiming conditions in their own industries have improved, compared with 49 percent in the previous quarter.

CEOs are also less optimistic regarding the short-term outlook than earlier this year. Slightly over 22 percent of business leaders expect economic conditions will improve over the next six months, down from 38 percent last quarter. Expectations for their own industries were also more pessimistic, with less than 17 percent of CEOs anticipating an improvement versus 40 percent in the second quarter.

The Business Roundtable last month also released its CEO Economic Outlook Survey for the 3rd Quarter of 2015.   Notable excerpts from the September 15 release, titled “CEO Economic Outlook Signals Caution for Remainder of 2015”:

CEOs are cautious about the U.S. economy’s near-term prospects and are trimming business plans for capital investment over the next six months, according to the Business Roundtable third quarter 2015 CEO Economic Outlook Survey, released today.

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 – declined 7.2 points, from 81.3 in the second quarter of 2015 to 74.1 in the third quarter.

CEOs now expect GDP growth of 2.4 percent in 2015, a 0.1 percentage point decline from last quarter’s projection. CEO expectations for sales and hiring for the next six months decreased by 11.1 and 7.9 points, respectively. Expectations for capital spending slipped by a more modest 2.4 points, its second consecutive decline.

_____

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 2002.81 as this post is written

September 2015 Duke/CFO Magazine Global Business Outlook Survey – Notable Excerpts

On September 10, 2015 the September Duke/CFO Global Business Outlook was released.  It contains a variety of statistics regarding how CFOs view business and economic conditions.

In this CFO survey, I found the following to be the most notable excerpts:

Ninety-three percent of U.S. companies say they have job openings in key positions and nearly half of these firms say it is difficult to fill these slots. CFOs list the difficulty in attracting and retaining qualified employees as one of their top three overall business concerns.

U.S. firms expect to hike wages 3.3 percent over the next year, with wage growth strongest in services, consulting and construction.

also:

Though economic uncertainty is the top business concern across much of the globe, CFOs are worried that companies are not adequately managing risk. Almost half (44 percent) of financial executives believe firms in their own industries have become complacent about managing downside risk.

“It is especially troubling that a greater proportion, 55 percent, of CFOs in the banking industry believe their industry has become complacent about managing risk,” Harvey said.

also:

CFO optimism about the U.S. economy has weakened but remains the strongest in the world. On a scale from zero to 100, financial executives rate the outlook at 60, down from 65 in the spring and 63 last quarter. As a result, business plans will soften somewhat. Capital spending is expected to increase only 2.4 percent at U.S. companies and earnings will rise only 3 percent. Merger and acquisition activity will continue, with the deals funded primarily by cash and debt.

The CFO survey contains two Optimism Index charts, with the bottom chart showing U.S. Optimism (with regard to the economy) at 60, as seen below:

Duke CFO survey optimism chart

It should be interesting to see how well the CFOs predict business and economic conditions going forward.   I discussed various aspects of this, and the importance of these predictions, in the July 9, 2010 post titled “The Business Environment”.

(past posts on CEO and CFO surveys can be found under the “CFO and CEO Confidence” tag)

_____

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 1950.79 as this post is written

CEO Confidence Surveys 2Q 2015 – Notable Excerpts

On July 8, 2015, The Conference Board and PwC released the 2nd Quarter Measure Of CEO Confidence.   The overall measure of CEO Confidence was at 58, up from 57 in the first quarter. [note:  a reading of more than 50 points reflects more positive than negative responses]

Notable excerpts from this July 8 Press Release include:

CEOs’ appraisal of current economic conditions was less positive than last quarter. Now, just 46 percent claim conditions are better compared to six months ago, down from 55 percent in the first quarter of the year. However, business leaders’ assessment of conditions in their own industries was more positive, with 49 percent saying conditions in their own industries have improved, compared with 35 percent in the prior quarter.

CEOs were more optimistic overall regarding the short-term outlook than earlier this year. Slightly over 38 percent of business leaders anticipate economic conditions will improve over the next six months, up marginally from last quarter. Expectations for their own industries were more upbeat, with 40 percent of CEOs anticipating an improvement versus 34 percent in the first quarter of this year.

The Business Roundtable last month also released its CEO Economic Outlook Survey for the 2nd Quarter of 2015.   Notable excerpts from the June 8 release, titled “CEO Economic Outlook Dims for Second Half of 2015”:

CEOs have tempered business plans for capital investment and hiring, reflecting concerns about the continued sub-par growth trajectory of the U.S. economy, according to the Business Roundtable second quarter 2015 CEO Economic Outlook Survey, released today.

also:

CEOs said that they expect sales, investment and hiring to decrease almost 10 points, 9.8 points and 8.9 points, respectively, in the next six months. And they expect GDP growth of 2.5 percent in 2015, 0.3 percentage point lower than last quarter. Importantly, the survey was conducted prior to the Commerce Department’s recently released Q1 GDP downward revision to negative 0.7 percent, a contraction of 0.9 percent from their advance estimate.

also:

The Business Roundtable CEO Economic Outlook Index – a composite index of CEO plans for the next six months of sales, capital spending and employment – declined from 90.8 in the first quarter of 2015 to 81.3 in the second quarter of 2015. 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 2058.33 as this post is written

June 2015 Duke/CFO Magazine Global Business Outlook Survey – Notable Excerpts

On June 5, 2015 the June Duke/CFO Magazine Global Business Outlook Survey (pdf) was released.  It contains a variety of statistics regarding how CFOs view business and economic conditions.

In this CFO Survey, I found the following to be the most notable excerpts:

U.S. companies expect wage hikes of more than 3 percent over the next year, with hiring increasing by more than 2 percent. Wage and employment growth is predicted to be strongest in tech, services and consulting, health care and construction.

“Wage growth expectations the past few quarters have been the highest in the survey since 2007,” said John Graham, a finance professor at Duke’s Fuqua School of Business and director of the survey. “In fact, CFOs indicate that difficulty in hiring and retaining qualified employees is a top three concern, especially in industries like tech and health care.”

also:

U.S. CFOs remain optimistic about the U.S. economy’s outlook. On a scale from zero to 100, they rate the outlook at 63, down from 65 last quarter but still the third highest since 2007. U.S. companies plan to increase capital spending six percent over the next year.

The CFO survey contains two Optimism Index chart, with the bottom chart showing U.S. Optimism (with regard to the economy) at 63, as seen below:

Duke CFO 6-5-15 - optimism_graph

It should be interesting to see how well the CFOs predict business and economic conditions going forward.   I discussed various aspects of this, and the importance of these predictions, in the July 9, 2010 post titled “The Business Environment”.

(past posts on CEO and CFO Surveys can be found under the “CFO and CEO Confidence” tag)

_____

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 2095.25 as this post is written

CEO Confidence Surveys 1Q 2015 – Notable Excerpts

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.

also:

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