CEO Confidence Surveys 4Q 2012 – Notable Excerpts

On January 7, The Conference Board released its 4th Quarter CEO Confidence Survey.   The overall measure of CEO Confidence was at 46, up from 42 in the third quarter. [note:  a reading of more than 50 points reflects more positive than negative responses]

Notable excerpts from this January 7 Press Release include:

CEOs’ assessment of current economic conditions has grown slightly more favorable, with 15 percent claiming conditions have improved compared to six months ago, up from 9 percent last quarter. About 13 percent of business leaders say conditions in their own industries have improved, compared with 14  percent in the third quarter of 2012.

CEOs’ short-term outlook is also more upbeat than last quarter. Currently, 23 percent of business leaders expect economic conditions to improve over the next six months, up from 12 percent last quarter. Expectations for their own industries are also more optimistic, with 19 percent of CEOs anticipating an improvement in conditions in the months ahead, up from 15 percent in the third quarter.

The Business Roundtable also recently released its CEO Economic Outlook Survey for the 4th Quarter of 2012.   Notable excerpts from the December 12 release, titled “CEOs See Continued Uncertainty for U.S. Economy” include the following:

The results of Business Roundtable’s (BRT) fourth quarter 2012 CEO Economic Outlook Survey show CEOs’ expectations are largely unchanged, with a slight decline in expectations for sales and capital spending and a slight rise in expectations for hiring. This follows a significant drop in expectations in the third quarter of 2012.


The Business Roundtable CEO Economic Outlook Survey Index – a composite index of CEO expectations for the next six months of sales, capital spending and employment – remained essentially unchanged at 65.6 in the fourth quarter of 2012 from 66.0 in the third quarter. While the Index remains above 50.0 – signaling continuing economic expansion – it is at its lowest level since the third quarter of 2009 and is well below its long-term average level of 79.4.


BRT CEOs expect 2.0 percent growth for 2013, an increase from last quarter’s estimate of 1.9 percent. CEO expectations for hiring over the next six months are roughly neutral, which represents a slight improvement from the expected decrease reported last quarter.


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 1462.50 as this post is written