Tag Archives: CFO and CEO Confidence

CEO Confidence Surveys 4Q 2016 – Notable Excerpts

On January 5, 2017, The Conference Board released the 4th Quarter Measure Of CEO Confidence.   The overall measure of CEO Confidence was at 65, up from 50 in the third quarter. [note:  a reading of more than 50 points reflects more positive than negative responses]

Notable excerpts from this January 5 Press Release include:

CEOs’ assessment of current economic conditions was considerably more optimistic, with close to 60 percent saying conditions were better compared to six months ago, up from just 17 percent last quarter. Business leaders’ appraisal of current conditions in their own industries also improved significantly, with 46 percent stating conditions in their own industries have improved versus only 21 percent in the third quarter.

CEOs’ short-term outlook for the U.S. economy also improved markedly, with approximately 67 percent expecting better economic conditions over the next six months, up from 25 percent last quarter. The outlook for their own industries was also more favorable, with 58 percent of CEOs anticipating an improvement over the next six months, compared to about 23 percent in the third quarter.

The Business Roundtable last month also released its CEO Economic Outlook Survey for the 4th Quarter of 2016.   Notable excerpts from the December 6, 2016 release, titled “Business Leaders:  Plans for Hiring Rise, Expectations for Sales Increase“ (pdf):

In their first GDP estimate for 2017, CEOs projected 2 percent growth next year. While the outlook for hiring is positive, the overall results suggest continued economic growth, albeit at a slow pace.

The Business Roundtable CEO Economic Outlook Index — a composite of CEO projections for sales and plans for capital spending and hiring over the next six months — rose by 4.6 points, from 69.6 in the third quarter to 74.2 in the fourth quarter. The Index remains below its historical average of 79.6.

CEO expectations for sales over the next six months increased by 4.5 points, and expectations for hiring increased by a more robust 14.8 points over last quarter. However, CEO plans for capital expenditures fell by 5.4 points relative to last quarter.

_____

I post various economic forecasts because I believe they should be carefully monitored.  However, as those familiar with this blog 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 2268.06 as this post is written

December 2016 Duke/CFO Global Business Outlook Survey – Notable Excerpts

On December 7, 2016 the December Duke/CFO Global Business Outlook was released.  It contains a variety of statistics regarding how CFOs view business and economic conditions.

In this CFO survey, I found the following to be the most notable excerpts – although I don’t necessarily agree with them:

For the last five quarters, the Duke University/CFO Global Business Outlook Optimism Index has hovered around the long-term average of 60 (on a 100-point scale). This quarter, post-election, the index jumped to 66, the highest level in nearly a decade. The proportion of CFOs becoming more optimistic outweighs those becoming more pessimistic by 4 to 1. Historically, a jump in the optimism index has predicted strong employment growth and rising GDP over the next year.

also:

U.S. firms plan to increase their payrolls by 2 percent in 2017 and expect a median increase in capital spending of 2 percent. While modest, spending is up from last quarter’s prediction of no growth.

The corporate sector faces increased financial risk due to a recent increase in borrowing. U.S. manufacturing firms increased their borrowing as a percentage of assets by one-third over the past five years; and energy firms levered up by two-thirds. More than 60 percent of the firms in these industries say that this high debt load will limit future corporate investment.

“Weak business spending has dampened economic growth during the past two years,” Graham said. “Finance chiefs tell us that any rebound in business spending will be muted because of debt loads at many firms that are already high.”

The CFO survey contains two Optimism Index charts, with the bottom chart showing U.S. Optimism (with regard to the economy) at 66, as seen below:

Duke CFO Survey optimism

It should be interesting to see how well the CFOs predict business and economic conditions going forward.   I discussed past various aspects of this, and the importance of these predictions, in the July 9, 2010 post titled “The Business Environment”.

(past posts on CEO and CFO surveys can be found under the “CFO and CEO Confidence” tag)

_____

I post various economic forecasts because I believe they should be carefully monitored.  However, as those familiar with this blog 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 2247.93 as this post is written

CEO Confidence Surveys 3Q 2016 – Notable Excerpts

On October 4, 2016, The Conference Board released the 3rd Quarter Measure Of CEO Confidence.   The overall measure of CEO Confidence was at 50, down from 52 in the second quarter. [note:  a reading of more than 50 points reflects more positive than negative responses]

Notable excerpts from this October 4 Press Release include:

CEOs’ appraisal of current economic conditions was less optimistic, with 17 percent saying conditions are better compared to six months ago, down from 21 percent last quarter. Business leaders’ assessment of current conditions in their own industries also moderated, with 21 percent stating conditions in their own industries have improved versus 30 percent in the second quarter.

CEOs’ short-term outlook for the U.S. economy held steady, with 25 percent expecting better economic conditions over the next six months, about the same as last quarter. The outlook for their own industries, however, was less favorable, with about 23 percent of CEOs anticipating an improvement over the next six months, down from almost 33 percent in the second quarter.

The Business Roundtable last month also released its CEO Economic Outlook Survey for the 3rd Quarter of 2016.   Notable excerpts from the September 12, 2016 release, titled “CEO Economic Outlook Suggests Continued Concerns Over Flat Economy“ (pdf):

The Business Roundtable CEO Economic Outlook Index — a composite of CEO projections for sales and plans for capital spending and hiring over the next six months — declined by 3.9 points, from 73.5 in the second quarter to 69.6 in the third quarter. The Index remains below its historical average of 79.6. It remains well above 50, indicating continued economic expansion — although well below the full potential of U.S. economic growth.

According to the Business Roundtable third quarter 2016 CEO Economic Outlook Survey, CEO expectations for sales over the next six months declined by 9.3 points, while expectations for hiring declined by 3.4 points from last quarter. CEO plans for capital expenditures ticked up slightly by 0.8 point relative to last quarter.

In their fourth estimate of real GDP growth for 2016, CEOs expect 2.2 percent growth, a slight tick upward from their 2.1 percent estimate in the second quarter of 2016 and roughly in line with other well-regarded estimates.

_____

I post various economic forecasts because I believe they should be carefully monitored.  However, as those familiar with this blog 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 2153.74 as this post is written

CEO Confidence Surveys 2Q 2016 – Notable Excerpts

On July 7, 2016, The Conference Board released the 2nd Quarter Measure Of CEO Confidence.   The overall measure of CEO Confidence was at 52, up from 47 in the first quarter. [note:  a reading of more than 50 points reflects more positive than negative responses]

Notable excerpts from this July 7 Press Release include:

CEOs’ assessment of current economic conditions improved somewhat, with 21 percent saying conditions are better compared to six months ago, up from about 19 percent last quarter. Business leaders’ appraisal of current conditions in their own industries was considerably more favorable, with 30 percent stating conditions in their own industries have improved, up from 18 percent in the first quarter.

CEOs’ short-term outlook continued to improve, with about 25 percent expecting better economic conditions over the next six months, up from 18 percent last quarter. The outlook for their own industries was also more favorable, with almost 33 percent of CEOs anticipating an improvement in conditions over the next six months, up from 22 percent in the first quarter.

The Business Roundtable last month also released its CEO Economic Outlook Survey for the 2nd Quarter of 2016.   Notable excerpts from the June 15, 2016 release, titled “CEO Economic Outlook Shows Modest Improvement“ (pdf):

The Business Roundtable CEO Economic Outlook Index — a composite of CEO projections for sales and plans for capital spending and hiring over the next six months — increased modestly from 69.4 in the first quarter 2016 to 73.5 in the second quarter. The Index remains below its historical average of 79.8 but well above 50, indicating continued economic expansion.

CEO expectations for sales over the next six months improved by 0.8 points, while plans for capital expenditures moved up by 8.1 points, relative to last quarter. Expectations for hiring increased by 3.5 points from last quarter.

However, in their third estimate of real GDP growth for 2016, CEOs expect 2.1 percent growth, down from their 2.2 percent estimate in the first quarter of 2016.

_____

I post various economic forecasts because I believe they should be carefully monitored.  However, as those familiar with this blog 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 2129.90 as this post is written

June 2016 Duke/CFO Global Business Outlook Survey – Notable Excerpts

On June 8, 2016 the June Duke/CFO Global Business Outlook was released.  It contains a variety of statistics regarding how CFOs view business and economic conditions.

In this CFO survey, I found the following to be the most notable excerpts – although I don’t necessarily agree with them:

Forty-seven percent of U.S. companies say they will pull back on spending or hiring due to concern about the political situation. Nearly 40 percent of U.S. CFOs indicate that they believe that foreign businesses are less willing to do business with the U.S. due to political uncertainty.

also:

“While the recent disappointing headline non-farm payrolls grabbed a lot of attention, our survey shows the aggregate numbers miss a crucial point. U.S. companies rate difficulty hiring and retaining skilled employees as their second biggest concern – while last year it ranked fifth,” said Fuqua professor Campbell R. Harvey, a founding director of the survey. “Business leaders plan to increase their workforce by 2 percent over the next year, which would reduce the unemployment rate to levels not seen since the late 1960s. CFOs are telling us that expected wage increases (3.3 percent) greatly outpace expected increases in product prices (1.5 percent).

“The tight labor market, combined with a skills mismatch between what companies want and what they can get, makes wage inflation inevitable,” Harvey said. “This is exactly the type of data that will energize the Fed to be more aggressive in hiking interest rates – despite the recent setback in non-farm payrolls.”

The CFO survey contains two Optimism Index charts, with the bottom chart showing U.S. Optimism (with regard to the economy) at 59.4, as seen below:

Duke CFO Survey June 2016 Optimism

It should be interesting to see how well the CFOs predict business and economic conditions going forward.   I discussed past various aspects of this, and the importance of these predictions, in the July 9, 2010 post titled “The Business Environment”.

(past posts on CEO and CFO surveys can be found under the “CFO and CEO Confidence” tag)

_____

I post various economic forecasts because I believe they should be carefully monitored.  However, as those familiar with this blog 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 2071.22 as this post is written

CEO Confidence Surveys 1Q 2016 – Notable Excerpts

On April 6, 2016, The Conference Board released the 1st Quarter Measure Of CEO Confidence.   The overall measure of CEO Confidence was at 47, up from 45 in the fourth quarter. [note:  a reading of more than 50 points reflects more positive than negative responses]

Notable excerpts from this April 6 Press Release include:

CEOs’ appraisal of current economic conditions improved, with about 19 percent saying conditions are better compared to six months ago, up from 14 percent last quarter. Likewise, business leaders’ assessment of conditions in their own industries was also more positive, with 18 percent claiming conditions in their own industries have improved, versus just 11 percent in the previous quarter.

CEOs are less pessimistic regarding the short-term outlook, with 18 percent expecting economic conditions will improve over the next six months, up from 16 percent last quarter. The outlook for their own industries was also better, with 22 percent anticipating an improvement in the next six months, versus approximately 19 percent in the fourth quarter.

The Business Roundtable last month also released its CEO Economic Outlook Survey for the 1st Quarter of 2016.   Notable excerpts from the March 15, 2016 release, titled “CEOs:  Economy Still Performing Below Its Potential“:

The Business Roundtable CEO Economic Outlook Index — a composite of CEO projections for sales and plans for capital spending and hiring over the next six months — increased modestly from 67.5 in the fourth quarter of 2015 to 69.4 in the first quarter of 2016. The index remains near three-year lows.

CEO expectations for sales over the next six months increased by 8.5 points, and their plans for capital expenditures increased by 7.1 points, relative to last quarter. Hiring plans declined by nearly 10 points from last quarter.

In their second estimate of real GDP growth for 2016, CEOs expect 2.2 percent growth, down from their 2.4 percent estimate at the end of 2015.

_____

I post various economic forecasts because I believe they should be carefully monitored.  However, as those familiar with this blog 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 2066.66 as this post is written

March 2016 Duke/CFO Global Business Outlook Survey – Notable Excerpts

On March 9, 2016 the March Duke/CFO Global Business Outlook was released.  It contains a variety of statistics regarding how CFOs view business and economic conditions.

In this CFO survey, I found the following to be the most notable excerpts:

U.S. CFOs, on average, believe there is a 31 percent chance that the U.S. economy will be in recession by year-end 2016, double the 16 percent chance predicted just nine months ago. The executives say the biggest risk factors to cause recession are the slowdown in China (59 percent of CFOs assign China as a significant risk), political turmoil in the U.S. (53 percent), a stock market decline (50 percent) and the price of oil (40 percent).

also:

Among firms whose wage structures would be affected, about 20 percent say they would lay off current workers if the minimum wage is increased to $10 and 44 percent would slow future hiring. At a $15 wage, 41 percent would lay off current employees while 66 percent would slow future hiring. An increase to $8.75 would affect fewer firms, but among those, 11 percent say they would lay off current employees, and 36 percent say it would slow future hiring.

also:

Capital spending is expected to increase just 2 percent over the next year, down from 2.5 percent last quarter and the 5 percent growth predicted in June.

The CFO survey contains two Optimism Index charts, with the bottom chart showing U.S. Optimism (with regard to the economy) at 59, as seen below:

Duke CFO Survey optimism

It should be interesting to see how well the CFOs predict business and economic conditions going forward.   I discussed past various aspects of this, and the importance of these predictions, in the July 9, 2010 post titled “The Business Environment”.

(past posts on CEO and CFO surveys can be found under the “CFO and CEO Confidence” tag)

_____

I post various economic forecasts because I believe they should be carefully monitored.  However, as those familiar with this blog 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 1989.26 as this post is written

CEO Confidence Surveys 4Q 2015 – Notable Excerpts

On January 6, 2016, The Conference Board released the 4th Quarter Measure Of CEO Confidence.   The overall measure of CEO Confidence was at 45, down from 48 in the third quarter. [note:  a reading of more than 50 points reflects more positive than negative responses]

Notable excerpts from this January 6 Press Release include:

CEOs’ assessment of current economic conditions was less positive than in the third quarter. Now, 14 percent say conditions are better compared to six months ago, down from 19 percent last quarter. Likewise, business leaders’ assessment of conditions in their own industries was less positive, with 11 percent claiming conditions in their own industries have improved, compared with approximately 18 percent in the prior quarter.

CEOs remain pessimistic regarding the short-term outlook, with 16 percent expecting economic conditions to improve over the next six months, down from 22 percent last quarter. However, expectations for their own industries were slightly better. Now, close to 19 percent of CEOs anticipate an improvement in the next six months, up from 17 percent in the third quarter.

The Business Roundtable last month also released its CEO Economic Outlook Survey for the 4th Quarter of 2015.   Notable excerpts from the December 1, 2015 release, titled “CEO Expectations for the Economy Worsen“:

The Business Roundtable CEO Economic Outlook Index – a composite of CEO projections for sales and plans for capital spending and hiring over the next six months – declined 6.6 points, from 74.1 in the third quarter of 2015 to 67.5 in the fourth quarter. This third consecutive quarterly decline brought the Index to its lowest level in three years.

For the first six months of 2016, CEO expectations for sales decreased by 3.2 points and their plans for capital expenditures decreased by 16.7 points. Hiring plans were essentially unchanged from last quarter when they declined by nearly 8 points.

In their first estimate of real GDP growth for 2016, CEOs expect 2.4 percent growth.

_____

I post various economic forecasts because I believe they should be carefully monitored.  However, as those familiar with this blog 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 1915.35 as this post is written

December 2015 Duke/CFO Global Business Outlook Survey – Notable Excerpts

On December 9, 2015 the December Duke/CFO Global Business Outlook was released.  It contains a variety of statistics regarding how CFOs view business and economic conditions.

In this CFO survey, I found the following to be the most notable excerpts:

Business spending will be weak in 2016 because of slowing growth in China and low oil prices, according to a new survey. At the same time, employment should continue to make steady gains. These are key factors for the Federal Reserve in considering an interest rate hike later this month.

also:

Two-thirds of firms expect to increase employment in 2016, with the increase averaging about 2 percent. Employment growth will be strongest in services/consulting, retail/wholesale and construction. Manufacturing employment should shrink 1 percent.
CFOs list the difficulty in attracting and retaining qualified employees as one of their top three overall business concerns.

also:

Other factors have dampened productivity growth. Nearly 60 percent of U.S. firms say that regulation has negatively affected productivity, and nearly half say that weak economic conditions have hurt.

The CFO survey contains two Optimism Index charts, with the bottom chart showing U.S. Optimism (with regard to the economy) at 60, as seen below:

Duke CFO optimism chart

It should be interesting to see how well the CFOs predict business and economic conditions going forward.   I discussed various aspects of this, and the importance of these predictions, in the July 9, 2010 post titled “The Business Environment”.

(past posts on CEO and CFO surveys can be found under the “CFO and CEO Confidence” tag)

_____

I post various economic forecasts because I believe they should be carefully monitored.  However, as those familiar with this blog 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 2053.87 as this post is written

CEO Confidence Surveys 3Q 2015 – Notable Excerpts

On October 9, 2015, The Conference Board and PwC released the 3rd Quarter Measure Of CEO Confidence.   The overall measure of CEO Confidence was at 48, down from 58 in the second quarter. [note:  a reading of more than 50 points reflects more positive than negative responses]

Notable excerpts from this October 9 Press Release include:

CEOs’ assessment of current economic conditions was considerably less positive than in the second quarter. Now, just 19 percent say conditions are better compared to six months ago, down from 46 percent last quarter. Likewise, business leaders’ assessment of conditions in their own industries was less positive, with just 18 percent claiming conditions in their own industries have improved, compared with 49 percent in the previous quarter.

CEOs are also less optimistic regarding the short-term outlook than earlier this year. Slightly over 22 percent of business leaders expect economic conditions will improve over the next six months, down from 38 percent last quarter. Expectations for their own industries were also more pessimistic, with less than 17 percent of CEOs anticipating an improvement versus 40 percent in the second quarter.

The Business Roundtable last month also released its CEO Economic Outlook Survey for the 3rd Quarter of 2015.   Notable excerpts from the September 15 release, titled “CEO Economic Outlook Signals Caution for Remainder of 2015”:

CEOs are cautious about the U.S. economy’s near-term prospects and are trimming business plans for capital investment over the next six months, according to the Business Roundtable third quarter 2015 CEO Economic Outlook Survey, released today.

The Business Roundtable CEO Economic Outlook Index – a composite of CEO projections for sales and plans for capital spending and hiring over the next six months – declined 7.2 points, from 81.3 in the second quarter of 2015 to 74.1 in the third quarter.

CEOs now expect GDP growth of 2.4 percent in 2015, a 0.1 percentage point decline from last quarter’s projection. CEO expectations for sales and hiring for the next six months decreased by 11.1 and 7.9 points, respectively. Expectations for capital spending slipped by a more modest 2.4 points, its second consecutive decline.

_____

I post various economic forecasts because I believe they should be carefully monitored.  However, as those familiar with this blog 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 2002.81 as this post is written