CEOs pessimism returning, consumers not so much


Chief Executive magazine found less confidence in the economy from its corner office clientele for the month of July. The overall index plummeted from 74.3 to 63.0. Pollster Rasmussen also recorded a downtick in consumer confidence for the month, but has been showing a solid positive trend in the early days of August.

CEO pessimism was an across-the-board phenomenon. Current confidence fell 62.8 to 53.8; future confidence fell 82.1 to 69.2; assessment of business conditions fell 69.2 to 57.4; investment confidence fell 96.8 to 84.9; and employment confidence fell 50.9 to 40.8.

In a lot of ways CEOs seem as confused as any other demographic group. According to the study, “33 percent believe the worst is yet to come, 35 percent believe the worst is happening now, and 29 percent believe the worst is behind us.”

Rasmussen found that consumer confidence is still below baseline, and it dropped from June to July, going from 72.0 to 69.2. However, the daily reading sat at 72.3 on August 1, and in the first seven days of the month has risen all the way to 77.9.

RBR/TVBR observation: It’s good to see consumers getting more confident – that is a precursor to getting them to opening up their wallets and spending some cold hard cash.

The most ominous sign from the CEOs is that the lowest number on the entire chart concerns employment. Full participation in the work force is a key economic need right now. These are the cats who make hiring decisions, and if their employment outlook is this bad, watch out.