CEOs more confident than a year ago, but less than last quarter


The Conference Board just reported a small pickup in consumer confidence, but the sentiment is not echoed by the people in the corner offices, according to a new survey trom PriceWaterhouseCooper.

According to the latest results from PWC’s quarterly Private Company Trendsetter Barometer, only 45% of CEOs expect economic growth in the US over the next 12 months. That number is down from 51% the previous quarter, but it’s also much better than the previous year, when only 34% of CEOs were expecting growth.

Asked about the prospects for their own company, some rays of optimism were able to shine through, however. 76% expected their own business to grow, and 38% expect that growth to be measured in double-digits. On average they’re expecting a pace of 9.1% in the black. 14% think they’ll stay where they are and only 12% anticipate reversals.

An encouraging note came from the 54% of execs who expect to be hiring during the next 12 months. That’s just about flat with the prior quarter, but it’s a huge improvement over the 34% who said the same a year earlier.

“Trendsetter CEOs continue to experience a challenging pricing environment for goods and services due to economic pressure at home and abroad,” says PWC’s Ken Esch. “However, private companies are clearly doing a good job of managing costs to maintain profitability. That should give them a solid platform as they continue working to grow revenue.”