CEOs’ Outlook is Worst in Seven Years
Much like the economic state of mind of many consumers today, CEOs polled in a recent survey said they don’t have very much confidence in the state of the economy. Such was the finding of The Conference Board’s Measure of CEO Confidence survey for the fourth quarter of 2007. With a measure of 39, the confidence of chief executives reached a seven-year low (a reading of more than 50 points represents more positive than negative responses). The last time the measure fell below 40 was in the fourth quarter of 2000, when it stood at 31. Here are some more findings of the report:
* 7 percent of CEOs felt economic conditions had improved in the fourth quarter, down from 14 percent the previous quarter;
* 15 percent believed conditions in their own industries were better than the third quarter, down from 17 percent in the third quarter;
* 16 percent expected economic conditions to improve in the next six months, down from 20 percent last quarter;
* 17 percent expect an improvement within their own industries, down from 27 percent in the third quarter;
* 9 percent anticipated price increases in excess of 10 percent with respect to their firms’ selling prices in 2008, 13 percent planned decreases and 4 percent foresaw no change; and
* on average, firms planned to raise prices by 3.2 percent, slightly less than last year’s forecast of 3.3 percent.
For more information, go to www.conference-board.org .