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