CEOs confidence hits a plateau


Chief Executive Magazine has taken the temperature of the nation’s corner office denizens to get a feel for where they see the economy going, and the results were pretty much on par with last month, with a slight uptick in most measured categories. The poll uses 100 as par (indicating neither overriding optimism nor pessimism), and in all cases in the January 2008 edition of the chart, CEO moods are on the plus side of that benchmark.
However, the future confidence index is the lowest, at 100.9. That number is significant, however, in that it represents a gain of two points over December’s rating, moving the mood ring into positive territory.

CEOs believe things are just fine at the moment, placing current confidence at 157.6. Employment confidence is also well into positive territory at 134.9. The prospects for investing are not seen as being quite so rosy, however, at 113.7, and although confidence in the presence of favorable business conditions is healthy at 125.4, that is the lone category that registered any erosion, dropping 3.4 points from the December reading. In fact, the majority of CEOs rated business -conditions as normal, bookended by an equal 23% calling conditions good or calling them bad.

All of this boils down to an overall confidence rating of 123.7, a modest 1.6 point increase over the December 2007 rating.

RBR/TVBR observation: A lot of CEOs are going to fret about the future, fret about income levels, and fret about where they can save money to preserve their bottom line. They will hole up in the executive lounge, decide that they can only cut so many more jobs, that hey need raw materials to make their widgets, that they have to pay the rent for their office space, but hey – that advertising budget can certainly be trimmed. It is our job to remind these timid CEOs that they will soon be in the 23% calling current business conditions bad, because they are cutting off their marketing and damaging sales. Gently remind them that they need to join the smart CEOs, the ones who are taking advantage of a dicey economy to steal market share from their timid brethren via aggressive marketing. Then broadcasters can be in the happy 23% group as well.