CEO confidence backslides in June


With a score of 100 indicating business conditions that are neither particularly good nor bad, CEOs posted an overall economic rating of 74.3 in June 2009, falling slightly from May’s 75.7 reading. Still, there was good news – the principle driver of the downturn was their collective assessment of current conditions. But expectations for the future improved by over 2 points.

Current confidence dropped from 69.6 to 62.8; future confidence, a bright spot, rose from 79.8 to 82.1; business conditions also went up, just a little, from 68.3 to 69.2; investment confidence suffered but was close to par, dropping from 100.4 to 96.8; and the gloomy employment confidence index started very low and went lower, from 51.8 to 50.9.

Chief Executive Magazine, which conducts the inquiry, looked further into the employment situation.
Companies reducing the workforce outnumbered those looking for help 30.57% to 23.58%, with 45.85% standing pat.

Companies reducing compensation and those offering normal salary and bonus increases were about equal, with cutters at 24.45% and raisers at 24.89%. 47.60% are freezing compensation levels.

RBR/TVBR observation: The glaring weakness in the economy, according to CEOs, is employment. Although it dropped only slightly month-to-month, it is by far the lowest rated category. We will need people getting back to work and spending money to fuel a genuine turnaround.