US Business Leaders' Confidence in Decline

25 July 2007

NEW YORK: Confidence among US business chiefs has declined in tandem with the country's economic performance, according to the latest quarterly data from the Conference Board.

The business research organization's Measure of Ceo Confidence slipped to 45% among the hundred or so senior business leaders surveyed during the April-June quarter. It compares with a Q1 rise to 53%.

Comments the board's research director Lynn Franco: "Looking ahead, ceos do not expect a significant turnaround in conditions. Only a quarter expect profits to increase versus three-quarters last year, reflecting their pessimistic outlook."

Business chiefs' assessment of current economic conditions was little changed from earlier this year, with 23% claiming the current economic environment was better compared with 24% in Q1.

In assessing their own industries, however, business leaders were considerably less optimistic. Approximately 23% claim conditions are better, down from about 37% in Q1.

In addition, business leaders are less optimistic about the short-term outlook. Just 17% of those surveyed expect economic conditions to improve in the next six months, down from 27% last quarter.

Among those executives who are looking forward to a rise in profits, 46% believe advances in technology will be the decisive factor.

In comparison, 29% cite price hikes as the main source of profit improvements, while only 17% believe growth in the market and in demand will boost profits.

Data sourced from Adweek (USA); additional content by WARC staff