CEO Confidence Surveys 4Q 2021 – Notable Excerpts

On December 9, 2021, The Conference Board released the Q4 2021 Measure Of CEO Confidence.   The overall measure of CEO Confidence was at 65, down from the previous reading of 67. [note:  a reading of more than 50 points reflects more positive than negative responses]

Notable excerpts from this December 9, 2021 Press Release include:

Current Conditions

CEOs’ assessment of general economic conditions declined in Q4:

  • 61% of CEOs reported economic conditions were better compared to six months ago, down from 70% in Q3.
  • Conversely, 19% said conditions were worse, up from 11%.

CEOs were less optimistic about conditions in their own industries in Q4:

  • 58% of CEOs reported that conditions in their industries were better compared to six months ago, down from 64%.
  • Equally, 18% said conditions in their own industries were worse, up from 10%.

Future Conditions

Expectations about the short-term economic outlook remained positive in Q4:

  • 61% percent of CEOs said they expect economic conditions to improve over the next six months, up slightly from 60% in Q3. Moreover, the percent that said conditions were “much better” rose.
  • Only 13% expect conditions to worsen, up from 9%.

CEOs’ expectations regarding short-term prospects in their own industries also moderated in Q4:

  • 61% of CEOs expect conditions in their own industry to improve over the next six months, down from 65%. However, the percent that said conditions were “much better” rose.
  • Only 8% expected conditions to worsen, up from 6%.

On November 23, 2021, the Business Roundtable released its most recent CEO Economic Outlook Survey for the 4th Quarter of 2021.   Notable excerpts from this November 23, 2021 release, titled “Business Roundtable Q4 CEO Economic Outlook Index: U.S. Businesses Expect Strong First Half of 2022, See Risks from New COVID Variants, Tax Increases“:

Consistent with other economic data on consumer spending, business activity and a tightening labor market, the overall CEO Economic Outlook Index rose to its highest level in its 20-year history to a value of 124, up 10 points from Q3 2021. The three subindices are all well above long-run averages and were as follows: 

• Plans for hiring increased 13 points to a value of 121. 

• Plans for capital investment increased 7 points to a value of 115. 

• Expectations for sales increased 9 points to a value of 135. 

The survey was conducted between November 3 and November 22. In their first estimate of 2022 U.S. GDP growth, CEOs projected 3.9% 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 4685.59 as this post is written