CEO Confidence Surveys 1Q 2021 – Notable Excerpts

On February 18, 2021, The Conference Board released the Q1 2021 Measure Of CEO Confidence.   The overall measure of CEO Confidence was at 73, up from 64. [note:  a reading of more than 50 points reflects more positive than negative responses]

Notable excerpts from this February 18, 2021 Press Release include:

Current Conditions

CEOs’ assessment of general economic conditions remained positive overall in Q1:

  • 67 percent of CEOs reported economic conditions were better compared to six months ago, down slightly from 70 percent
  • However, only 10 percent said conditions were worse, down from 21 percent

CEOs remained optimistic about conditions in their own industries in Q1 compared to the prior survey:

  • 68 percent of CEOs reported conditions in their industries were better compared to six months ago, unchanged from the September survey
  • However, only 8 percent said conditions were worse in their own industries, down from 20 percent  

Future Conditions

Expectations about the short-term economic outlook improved considerably in Q1 over the previous survey:

  • 82 percent of CEOs expected economic conditions to improve over the next six months, up from 63 percent
  • Moreover, only 7 percent expected conditions to worsen, down from 15 percent

CEOs’ expectations regarding short-term prospects in their own industries also improved in Q1:

  • 78 percent of CEOs anticipated improved conditions in their industry, up from 65 percent
  • 7 percent expected conditions to worsen, down from 11 percent

On December 7, 2020, the Business Roundtable released its most recent CEO Economic Outlook Survey for the 4th Quarter of 2020.   Notable excerpts from this December 7, 2020 release, titled “Business Roundtable CEOs…“:

In this quarter’s survey – a composite index of CEO plans for capital spending and hiring and expectations for sales over the next six months – the overall Index was 86.2, an increase of 22.2 points compared to Q3 2020. This indicates a gradual economic recovery from the historic disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic during the second quarter. The Index now stands above its historical average of 81.5. 


In their first estimate of 2021 U.S. GDP growth, CEOs projected 1.9 percent growth for the year.

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 3926.43 as this post is written