The quarterly Vistage Confidence Index is now available.
Vistage CEOs expressed somewhat greater concerns about the outlook for the domestic economy largely due to uncertainties about international conditions, volatile and declining stock prices and the much debated Fed liftoff in interest rates. Despite these concerns, CEOs continued to be more optimistic about prospects for their own firms. The Vistage CEO Confidence Index was 96.3 in the 3rd quarter 2015 survey, down from 99.0 in the 2nd quarter and last year’s 103.4. The cumulative gains that could have been anticipated during long expansions have not occurred.
While the recent slide in confidence is of concern, the data thus far indicate that most firms now expect a continued slow pace of economic growth. Revenue and profit growth were judged slightly better than last quarter, and firms still plan to expand their payrolls as well as increase their planned fixed business investments to be better able to profit from sales growth in the future.
Below are some key highlights from the Q3 2015 Vistage CEO Confidence Index (all members surveyed):
- 40% of CEOs reported the economy had improved compared to a year ago, down from 46% last quarter and 61% in the 1st quarter of 2015.
- 27% of CEOs expect the economy to improve in the next 12 months, down from 35% in the prior quarter and 45% at the start of 2015.
- 71% of CEOs expect revenue gains in the year ahead, and 56% of CEOs expect increased profits in the year ahead.
- 34% of CEOs said recruiting and retaining staff are the most significant challenges currently facing their business, more than twice that of the next most cited issues—too slow growth (15%) and economic uncertainty (15%).