American CEOs continue to take a dim view of the strength of the American economy.
A recent poll has revealed that American CEOs continue to remain cautious and somewhat pessimistic about the state of the economy in the United States and elsewhere around the world. On Tuesday, the Business Roundtable released the results of their third quarter CEO Economic Outlook Index and it showed that CEO’s dim view of the economy has gone on for three quarters in a row now.
CEO projections for such areas as sales, investment, growth and hiring have been the lowest they have been in over 4 years, according to Reuters. The poll sampled 140 American CEO’s with regard to these areas and how they see them shaping up for their companies over the next 6 months.
The average on the Business Roundtable CEO Index is 80.1. The combined CEO outlook for the last poll came in at 67.5 which shows stern pessimism on the part of America’s corporate leaders. With regard to how their sales are looking for the next 6 months, 60 percent of the CEO’s believed that their sales would increase over that time. That was down from the 63 percent polled in the second quarter of this year.
With regard to future capital spending, nearly 30 percent of the CEO’s said that they were going to decrease their capital spending on growth and expansion. The economy just looks to weak and volatile to them. What seems to concern the Business Roundtable the most is that the CEO’s are so pessimistic with regard to capital spending.
Randall Stephenson, the chairman of the Business Roundtable and CEO at AT&T, commented that he is worried about capital spending. He noted that, “capital spending as a percentage of the U.S. economy is at historically low levels. We’re hampering and burdening capital investment in the U.S.”
He mentioned that costs have greatly increased for American companies across the board due to government regulations and a tax code that is in serious need of an overhaul. The tax code is not competitive, Stephenson remarked. The CEO’s polled stated that government regulations, labor, and health care were their three greatest costs and that it was crippling many companies, especially small businesses.