On March 30 the Business Roundtable’s CEO Economic Outlook Survey was released for the 1st quarter. The March Duke/CFO Magazine Global Business Outlook Survey was released on March 9. Both contain a variety of statistics regarding how executives view business and economic conditions.
In the CEO survey, of particular interest is the CEO Economic Outlook Index, which increased to 113 from 101 in the 4th quarter. Also stated in the report, “In terms of the overall U.S. economy, member CEOs estimate real GDP will grow by 2.9 percent in 2011, an increase from the 2.5 percent expected in the fourth quarter of 2010.”
As well, “With today’s survey results, the last three quarters have shown steady improvement in the CEO economic outlook. Our CEOs see momentum in the economy over the next six months, with increased demand fueling greater investment and job creation,” said Ivan G. Seidenberg, Chairman of Business Roundtable and Chairman and CEO of Verizon Communications. “This shift continues a trend as reflected in recent employment data, with the private sector leading the way in creating more jobs.”
In the CFO Survey, “CFO optimism has increased, rising to the highest level since early 2007.” Also, “Chief financial officers in the U.S. have a more optimistic outlook about the economy, with robust growth expected in earnings and capital spending. Overall employment is expected to grow slowly, though some job categories are in strong demand. However, an uptick in inflation would pose notable risks for many firms.”
The CFO survey contains the Optimism Index chart, as seen below:
It should be interesting to see how well the CEOs and CFOs predict business and economic conditions going forward. I discussed various aspects of this, and the importance of these predictions, in the July 9 post.
(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 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 1328.26 as this post is written