CEO confidence sours with one caveat


ChartThe Conference Board noted a significant drop in the confidence level of America’s business executives, registering quarter-over-quarter drops in a number of areas. However, there is still positive sentiment in one big category.

A reading of 50 on the Conference Board Measure of CEO Confidence. It stood at 63 for Q1 2012, but has now slipped into slightly negative territory with a 47.

“CEOs began the year quite upbeat, but the lackluster performance of the economy so far, and expectations of more of the same, have clearly impacted attitudes,” said CB’s Lynn Franco. “On a positive note, CEOs remain confident profits will continue to increase, driven primarily by market/demand growth.”

The percentage of those optimistic about economic conditions six months ahead has shrunk all the way from 59% to 20%. When asked the same question about their own business sector, the change wasn’t quite as severe, but it still dropped steeply from 44% to 25%.

Still, 62% expect profits to increase. 46% say the increase will be driven by increased demand and growth, 29% believe cost reduction will be the driving factor, 15% cite technological improvement, and 10% believe price increases will fuel an increase.