On April 4, 2019, The Conference Board released the 1st Quarter Measure Of CEO Confidence. The overall measure of CEO Confidence was at 43, up from 42 in the fourth quarter. [note: a reading of more than 50 points reflects more positive than negative responses]
Notable excerpts from this April 4, 2019 Press Release include:
CEOs remain pessimistic about current economic conditions, with just 14 percent saying conditions are better compared to six months ago, down from 21 percent last quarter. Meanwhile, about 46 percent say conditions are worse, up from 39 percent in Q4 2018. CEOs were also more negative about current conditions in their own industries compared to six months ago. Currently, just 12 percent say conditions are better, down from 21 percent last quarter. However, those who say conditions have worsened rose moderately, from 35 percent last quarter to 37 percent.
Looking ahead, CEOs’ expectations regarding the economic outlook have improved slightly from last quarter. Some 14 percent now expect economic conditions to improve over the next six months, up from 12 percent in the fourth quarter. Meanwhile, about 42 percent expect economic conditions will worsen, down from 52 percent last quarter. CEOs’ expectations regarding short-term prospects in their own industries over the next six months were also moderately less pessimistic. Now, 19 percent anticipate an improvement in conditions, up from 14 percent last quarter. Moreover, 37 percent expect conditions will worsen, down from 44 percent in the fourth quarter.
Last month, the Business Roundtable also released its CEO Economic Outlook Survey for the 1st Quarter of 2019. Notable excerpts from the March 19 release, titled “Business Roundtable CEO Economic Outlook Index Softens, Remains Above Historical Average“:
The CEO Economic Outlook Index decreased to 95.2 in the first quarter of 2019, a decrease of 9.2 points from the previous quarter. Despite this decrease, the Index surpassed its historical average of 82.4. This marks the ninth consecutive quarter where the Index has exceeded the historical average, signaling a continued positive direction for the U.S. economy.
In their second estimate of 2019 U.S. GDP growth, CEOs projected 2.5 percent growth for the year, down from their 2.7 percent estimate in the previous quarter.
Additional details can be seen in the sources mentioned above.
I post various economic forecasts because I believe they should be carefully monitored. However, as those familiar with this site 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 2895.77 as this post is written