Optimism Among U.S. CEOs Shows Biggest Increase Since 2009
by Sho Chandra
March 14, 2017, 11:15 AM EDTMarch 14, 2017, 11:59 AM EDT
Business Roundtable index jumps on sales, employment outlooks
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Optimism among chief executive officers of some of the largest U.S. companies jumped in the first quarter by the most since the economy was emerging from the last recession, as the outlook for sales, the labor market and investment brightened considerably.
The Business Roundtable’s CEO Economic Outlook Index — a measure of expectations for revenue, capital spending and employment — jumped 19.1 points to 93.3, according to the group’s survey released Tuesday. The increase, the biggest since the final three months of 2009, left the gauge above its long-run average of 79.8 for the first time in seven quarters. Readings above 50 indicate economic expansion.
The survey is yet another in a series of confidence measures that have shown sizable upswings among businesses and consumers following Donald Trump’s victory in the November presidential election. While companies have said they’re encouraged by his plans to cut corporate taxes, reduce regulations and invest in infrastructure, the real test for the economy is whether they follow through with more capital spending and hiring.
“I am enthusiastic about the opportunity to enact a meaningful pro-growth agenda that will benefit all Americans,” Jamie Dimon, chairman of Business Roundtable and CEO of JPMorgan Chase & Co., said in a statement. “As these results confirm, business confidence and optimism have increased dramatically.”
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