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.
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.
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