Q3 Vistage Confidence Index – Chicago

A couple of weeks ago Vistage published its National Confidence Index Results.  Below is a report comparing the Chicago area to the nation.  Not surprisingly, Chicago business leaders are a bit more pessimistic. And yet, a recent report from ITR Economics Housing: 6 Signs of a Better Year Ahead offers a contrarian point of view.  Perhaps the message is, monitor your industry and your business, capitalize on opportunities and accumulate cash so when you want to invest you can. Here is the Chicago Area Survey Highlights: ECONOMY 12% of CEOs thought the national economy had improved in the past year (vs. 21%nationally) 4% of CEOs expect the economy to improve in the year ahead (vs. 12% nationally) PROSPECTS 56% of CEOs expect to increase revenue in the year ahead (vs. 61% nationally) 44% of CEOs expect rising profits in the year ahead (vs. 51%nationally) EXPANSION 35% of CEOs expect to increase investments in the year ahead (vs. 37% nationally) 50% of CEOs plan to expand...
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Q3 2019 Vistage Confidence Index – CEO optimism falls to 8-year low

Overall confidence among CEOs of small and midsize businesses declined for the 7th consecutive quarter. The Vistage CEO Confidence Index was 85.0 in the 3rd quarter of 2019, down 3.8% from the prior quarter and 17.5% from last year’s 3rd quarter survey. While the overall decline points toward a slower pace of growth in the economy during the year ahead, the recent falloff does not indicate that CEOs anticipate a recession. The Great Recession falloff from peak-to-trough was a more substantial 58% drop, compared with today’s drop of 23% from the Q4 2017 peak. The current decline, however, is comparable to the early decline recorded prior to the last recession. There are a number of domestic and international issues whose favorable resolution could push confidence higher in the months ahead. At present, however, uncertainty about how and when these issues will be resolved will continue to erode confidence. Tariffs have damaged firms, with 41% of CEOs reporting that tariffs have negatively...
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Q2 2019 Vistage Confidence Index: Optimism Tumbles

Since 2003, the Vistage CEO Confidence Index has provided a quarterly comprehensive report of the opinions and projections of more than 1,400 CEOs of small- to mid-sized companies about the economy, their hiring and investment plans, and prospects for their revenues and profitability. The Vistage CEO Confidence Index has been a proven predictor of GDP, two quarters in advance. Confidence among CEOs tumbled to the lowest level since late 2016 according to analysis of the Q2 2019 Vistage CEO Confidence Index survey. The CEO Confidence Index was 88.4 in Q2 2019, down from 91.6 in the prior quarter and last year’s 104.1. This represents the lowest CEO confidence level in the past three years since the 87.9 recorded in Q4 2009. However, one of the components measured in the Index - CEO sentiment about future economic conditions - is at the lowest in 10 years. The falloff was driven by much less favorable assessments of the national economy, which tumbled by about...
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Q1 2019 Vistage Confidence Index: Optimism Sinks Further

New data from Vistage finds that the economic confidence of CEOs from small and midsize businesses continues to fall. The Vistage National CEO Confidence Index measured 91.6, compared to 95.4 last quarter (Q4 2018) and 105.8 one year ago (Q1 2019). The decline in the index was largely driven by CEOs’ lower assessments of the recent growth in the U.S. economy; expectations for future economic growth remained at the same low level recorded last quarter. Just 29% of all CEOs reported that economic conditions had recently improved, a 15-point drop from 44% last quarter. In addition, just 14% of CEOs anticipated improvement in the economy in the next 12 months, less than half of the 35% recorded last year. Chicago CEOs were even more pessimistic. Only 18% reported improved economic conditions, and only 10% anticipate improvement in the next 12 months. Despite these steep declines, the data “indicates a return to a sluggish pace of economic growth, not a renewed recession,” said Dr. Richard Curtin,...
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CEO Optimism Sinks

Economic confidence among CEOs continued to decline according to the Q4 2018 survey. The Vistage CEO Confidence Index was 95.4 in Q4, down from 103.0 in Q3 and last year’s fifteen-year peak of 110.3. Confidence Index Highlights 44% of CEOs said the economy had recently improved, a 20 point drop from last quarter. 70% of CEOs expect increased revenues in the year ahead. (down from 75%) 43% of CEOs expect to increase investment expenditures in the next year. (down from 50%) 14% of CEOs expect the economy to post additional gains this year. (down from 25%) 61% of CEOs expect increased profits in the year ahead. (unchanged) 65% of CEOs plan to expand their workforce in the year ahead. (down from 75%) Notably, hiring intentions as well as profit expectations showed only small recent variations, although both were below levels recorded earlier this year. The largest disconnect is between the pessimistic outlook for the national economy and the modest declines in how CEOs view...
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Q3 2018 Confidence Index: Optimism Dips

The Q3 Vistage CEO Confidence Index - Economic confidence among CEOs continues its slow decline, according to the Q3 2018 Vistage CEO Confidence Index. The survey of 1,484 leaders of small and midsize businesses shows confidence decreasing from the 14-year peak set in late 2017, following the passage of the tax cut legislation. The Vistage CEO Confidence Index was 103 in the Q3 2018, reversing the entire gain recorded in the past three quarters. Most of the recent decline was due to an anticipated slowdown in economic growth, as well as a slight decline in revenue and profit expectations. Important to note, however, that CEOs’ expectations for revenues and profits were still quite robust. Q3 2018 Vistage CEO Confidence Index highlights for the Chicago Area: 15% of CEOs expect the economy to improve in the year ahead (vs. 25% nationally) 47% of CEOs expect to increase investments in the year ahead (vs. 50% nationally) 68% of CEOs expect to increase revenue in the...
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What Are CEO’s Most Concerned About Today?

Entering the second half of 2018, Vistage Research compiled a report summarizing the key concerns CEO's face today. This report draws on data from the Vistage Q2 CEO Confidence Index report and a team of expert economists. Here are the five key areas of concern: Cost pressures broadening and growing stronger Talent shortage goes critical Taxes, trade and tariffs translate to trouble Cyberattacks are the silent killer of SMBs A recession is inevitable Beginning in September, this blog will address each of these concerns in turn. Meanwhile here is the complete report for your consideration  Decision factors: H2 2018 - Economic considerations for SMB executives, Are You a CEO or President of a Privately Held Business? If you are also a lifetime learner, click here to learn more. Elisa K Spain #Strategy #Vistage Confidence Index...
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Vistage Confidence Index Chicago Update

As reported earlier in April, CEOs nationally continue to voice optimism about their future financial prospects and plan to increase their investments and expand their labor force. Although the Vistage CEO Confidence Index retreated from the decade high recorded at year-end 2017, it remains quite favorable. Here in Chicago, while CEO's are still confident, expectations are a bit lower than nationally. Below are Chicago Area Survey Highlights for Q1 2018 Vistage CEO Confidence Index Survey. 30% of CEOs expect the economy to improve in the year ahead (vs. 35% nationally) 47% of CEOs expect to increase investments in the year ahead (vs. 51% nationally) 76% of CEOs expect to increase revenue in the year ahead (vs. 79% nationally) 52% of CEOs plan to expand their workforce in the next year (vs. 64% nationally) 52% of CEOs thought the national economy had improved in the past year (vs. 62% nationally) 58% of CEOs expect rising profits in the year ahead (vs. 66% nationally) Here is a link to the full report. Why Vistage...
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Q4 2017 Confidence Index: CEO Optimism Surges to Decade Peak

The Q4 Vistage CEO Confidence Index was nearly equal to the second and third quarters of 2017, suggesting that optimism among small business CEOs has stabilized. Q4 2017 Vistage CEO Confidence Index highlights include: 66% of CEOs of CEOs said the economy had recently improved, a significant increase from last quarter’s52%. 45% of CEOs expect the economy to post additional gains during the year ahead, up 13 points from 32% last quarter. 71% of CEOs plan to expand their workforce in the year ahead. 83% of CEOs expect increased revenues in the year ahead. 67% of CEOs expect increased profits in the year ahead. 54% of CEOs expect to increase investment expenditures in the next year. Chicago Area Survey Highlights: 37% of CEOs expect the economy to improve in the year ahead (vs. 45% nationally) 46% of CEOs expect to increase investments in the year ahead (vs. 54% nationally) 83% of CEOs expect to increase revenue in the year ahead (vs. 83% nationally) 70%...
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Q3 2017 Vistage CEO Confidence Index Results

The Q3 Vistage CEO Confidence Index was nearly equal to the second and third quarters of 2017, suggesting that optimism among small business CEOs has stabilized. Q2 2017 Vistage CEO Confidence Index highlights include: 52% of CEOs said the economy had recently improved, slightly below last quarter’s 55% but more than twice last year’s 25%. 32% of CEOs expect the economy to post additional gains during the year ahead, down from 38% last quarter. 62% of CEOs plan to expand their workforce in the year ahead. 77% of CEOs expect increased revenues in the year ahead. 62% of CEOs expect increased profits in the year ahead. 47% of CEOs expect to increase investment expenditures in the next year. Chicago Area Survey Highlights: 28% of CEOs expect the economy to improve in the year ahead (vs. 32% nationally) 38% of CEOs expect to increase investments in the year ahead (vs. 47% nationally) 64% of CEOs expect to increase revenue in the year ahead (vs. 77%...
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