On January 5, 2017, The Conference Board released the 4th Quarter Measure Of CEO Confidence. The overall measure of CEO Confidence was at 65, up from 50 in the third quarter. [note: a reading of more than 50 points reflects more positive than negative responses]
Notable excerpts from this January 5 Press Release include:
CEOs’ assessment of current economic conditions was considerably more optimistic, with close to 60 percent saying conditions were better compared to six months ago, up from just 17 percent last quarter. Business leaders’ appraisal of current conditions in their own industries also improved significantly, with 46 percent stating conditions in their own industries have improved versus only 21 percent in the third quarter.
CEOs’ short-term outlook for the U.S. economy also improved markedly, with approximately 67 percent expecting better economic conditions over the next six months, up from 25 percent last quarter. The outlook for their own industries was also more favorable, with 58 percent of CEOs anticipating an improvement over the next six months, compared to about 23 percent in the third quarter.
The Business Roundtable last month also released its CEO Economic Outlook Survey for the 4th Quarter of 2016. Notable excerpts from the December 6, 2016 release, titled “Business Leaders: Plans for Hiring Rise, Expectations for Sales Increase“ (pdf):
In their first GDP estimate for 2017, CEOs projected 2 percent growth next year. While the outlook for hiring is positive, the overall results suggest continued economic growth, albeit at a slow pace.
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 — rose by 4.6 points, from 69.6 in the third quarter to 74.2 in the fourth quarter. The Index remains below its historical average of 79.6.
CEO expectations for sales over the next six months increased by 4.5 points, and expectations for hiring increased by a more robust 14.8 points over last quarter. However, CEO plans for capital expenditures fell by 5.4 points relative to 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 2268.06 as this post is written