2nd Quarter, 2015 Vistage CEO Confidence Index Results

The latest quarterly Vistage Confidence Index is now available. The Index is:

  • The nation’s largest and most comprehensive report of the opinions and projections of small-to-medium sized business CEOs about the U.S. economy.
  • Conducted quarterly and typically includes between 1,500 and 2,000 CEO respondents from across the country.
  • Dr. Curtin has determined that since 2003, the Vistage CEO Confidence Index has served as a reliable harbinger for changes in GDP and employment. Here is a graph showing the relationship between GDP and the Index.

Q2-2015GDP

The 1,434 U.S. CEOs surveyed from June 8-17, 2015 in the Q2 2015 Vistage CEO Confidence Index expressed greater concern about the dismal pace of 1st quarter growth in the economy, and more importantly, did not anticipate the same strong rebound as occurred last year. The Vistage Confidence Index was 99.0 in the 2nd quarter of 2015, below the 1st quarter’s 105.8 and last year’s 101.0. The recent economic weakness was due to temporary factors, including a harsh winter, a port strike, and a surging dollar.

Q2-2015COnfidenceIndex

Even though most CEOs anticipate continued economic growth, there is a widespread sense that the economy is still vulnerable.  The recent decision by the Fed to hold interest rates near zero also reflected that same potential vulnerability. As a result, firms anticipated slightly less growth in their sales revenues and profits, and planned on adding slightly fewer workers to their payrolls and marginally reducing the pace of their capital investments. CEOs can be best described as cautiously optimistic.

Below are some key highlights from the Q2 2015 Vistage CEO Confidence Index (all members surveyed):

  • 46% of CEOs reported that the economy had improved, down from 61% in the 1st quarter.
  • 35% of CEOs anticipate an improving economy in the year ahead, down from 45% in the 1st quarter.
  • 35% of CEOs said that locating, hiring, training, and retaining staff was their most
    important task, cited twice as frequently as any other issue.
  • 46% of CEOs plan to increase investments in new plant and equipment, barely below last quarter’s 48%. Investment plans were on average more favorable during the past six quarters than any other time since the peak years of 2004-05.

 

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