The Conference Board “Measure of CEO Confidence” report, released on April 9, posted a gain in first quarter 2009, after having declined to a historical low last quarter.
The measure now stands at 30 points, up from 24 points last quarter (a reading of more than 50 points reflects more positive than negative responses). The survey includes about 100 business leaders in a wide range of industries.
“CEOs remain pessimistic about current conditions, but have grown more optimistic about the short-term outlook,” said Lynn Franco, director, Conference Board Consumer Research Center. “This improved outlook, however, does not extend to the labor market. The majority of chief executives still expect employment levels to decline further in the coming months.”
CEOs’ overall assessment of current economic conditions remains quite pessimistic, with no business leaders stating conditions had improved, compared with six months ago. In assessing their own industries, business leaders remained pessimistic. Only 1% claim conditions are better, the same as in the final quarter of 2008.
When looking ahead six months, CEOs’ outlook improved. Now, 17% of business leaders expect economic conditions to improve in the next six months, up from approximately 11% last quarter.