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