Following six consecutive quarterly declines in confidence, CEOs finally recorded a small uptick in how they viewed prospects for the domestic economy as well as their own firm’s prospects. The Vistage CEO Confidence Index stood at 91.4 in the 3rd quarter 2016 survey, up from the three year low of 88.0 in the 2nd quarter, but still shy of the 96.3 recorded in last year’s 3rd quarter survey.
Robust gains in consumer expenditures were reflected in improved sales revenues and profits as well as planned increases in hiring. Uncertainty about future economic policies has made firms more cautious about investment expenditures, although they have not hesitated to add employees to take advantage of relatively strong consumer spending. Indeed, one-third of CEOs reported that finding, hiring, and training employees was their most significant challenge, mentioned twice as frequently as any other issue.
Below are some key highlights from the Q3 2016 Vistage CEO Confidence Index (all members surveyed):
- 25% of CEOs thought that the economy had improved during the past year, well below the 10-year peak of 63% recorded at the close of 2014.
- 39% of CEOs plan to increase their investment expenditures in the next year, the fewest firms in more than 3 years.
- 54% of CEOs plan to expand their workforce in the next year.
- 69% of CEOs expect increased revenues in the year ahead, and 54% expect increased profits.
- 47% of CEOs say the new overtime pay rules that take effect at the start of December will impact their employees.
- 70% of employees work remotely, although most of them for less than 25% of their work time.
For more details Vistage Confidence Index.