CEO Confidence Surveys 3Q 2023 – Notable Excerpts

On September 12, 2023, the Business Roundtable released its most recent CEO Economic Outlook Survey for the 3rd Quarter of 2023.   Notable excerpts from this September 12, 2023 release, titled “Business Roundtable CEO Economic Outlook Index Continues to Dip Modestly…“:

The overall Index dipped a modest four points from last quarter to 72, remaining below its historic average of 84. Continued moderation in CEO plans and expectations is consistent with a slowing U.S. and global economy.


In their fourth estimate of 2023 U.S. GDP growth, CEOs projected 2.1% growth for the year.

On August 3, 2023, The Conference Board released the Q3 2023 Measure Of CEO Confidence.   The overall measure of CEO Confidence was at 48, up from the previous reading of 42. [note:  a reading of more than 50 points reflects more positive than negative responses]

Notable excerpts from this August 3, 2023 Press Release include:

Despite the brighter outlook, most CEOs still anticipated an economic downturn ahead. In Q3, 84% reported that they are preparing for a US recession over the next 12-18 months, compared to 93% in Q2. That said, the vast majority continued to expect a short and shallow US recession, with just 4% now expecting a deep US with major global spillovers—down from a high of 13% in Q4 2022. Meanwhile, the proportion of CEOs expecting no recession at all climbed steadily from 2% in Q4 2022 to 17% in the latest survey.  


Current Conditions

CEOs’ assessment of general economic conditions were markedly better in Q3:

  • 28% of CEOs said economic conditions were better compared to six months ago, up from 17% in Q2.
  • 31% said conditions were worse or much worse, a notable improvement from 55% in Q2.

CEOs were also less pessimistic about conditions in their own industries inQ3:

  • 29% of CEOs reported that conditions in their industries were better compared to six months ago, up from 19%.
  • 35% said conditions in their own industries were worse, down moderately from 44% in Q2.

Future Conditions

CEOs’ expectations about the short-term economic outlook were slightly less bleak in Q3:

  • 20% of CEOs said they expected economic conditions to improve over the next six months, up from 15%.
  • 39% expected conditions to worsen, down significantly from 56%.

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

  • 29% of CEOs expect conditions in their own industry to improve over the next six months—up slightly from 25% in Q2.
  • 30% expect conditions to worsen, down from 40% in Q2.


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 4496.36 as this post is written