CEO Confidence Surveys 3Q 2021 – Notable Excerpts

On October 7, 2021, The Conference Board released the Q3 2021 Measure Of CEO Confidence.   The overall measure of CEO Confidence was at 67, down from 82. [note:  a reading of more than 50 points reflects more positive than negative responses]

Notable excerpts from this October 7, 2021 Press Release include:

Current Conditions

CEOs’ assessment of general economic conditions declined in Q3:

  • 70% of CEOs reported economic conditions were better compared to six months ago, down from 94% in Q2.
  • Only 11% said conditions were worse, up from 2%.

CEOs were similarly less optimistic about conditions in their own industries in Q3:

  • 64% of CEOs reported that conditions in their industries were better compared to six months ago, down from 89%.
  • Only 10% said conditions in their own industries were worse, up from 4%.  

Future Conditions

Expectations about the short-term economic outlook retreated in Q3:

  • 60% percent of CEOs said they expect economic conditions to improve over the next six months, down from 88% in Q2.
  • Only 9% expect conditions to worsen, up from 1%.

CEOs’ expectations regarding short-term prospects in their own industries also moderated in Q3:

  • 65% of CEOs expect conditions in their own industry to improve over the next six months, down from 81%.
  • Only 6% expected conditions to worsen, up from 4%.

On September 28, 2021, the Business Roundtable released its most recent CEO Economic Outlook Survey for the 3rd Quarter of 2021.   Notable excerpts from this September 28, 2021 release, titled “Business Roundtable: U.S. Economy Remains Strong, But CEO Economic Outlook Dips in Q3“:

Business Roundtable today released its Q3 2021 CEO Economic Outlook Survey, a composite index of CEO plans for capital spending and employment and expectations for sales over the next six months. This quarter, the overall index dipped slightly, driven by a decline in expectations for sales. The headline index and three subindices remain well above their historical averages. In addition, answers to a special question revealed CEOs are cautious of current public health and economic conditions and federal policy changes that could put U.S. competitiveness at risk, including the corporate tax increases proposed in current reconciliation legislation.

The overall CEO Economic Outlook Index decreased in the third quarter to a value of 114, down 2 points from Q2 2021…


In their fourth estimate of 2021 U.S. GDP growth, CEOs project 4.8 percent growth for the year, a 0.2 percentage point decrease from their estimate last 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 4350.65 as this post is written