Business Roundtable today released its CEO Economic Outlook Survey for the second quarter of 2012. CEOs are still positive about the economy, just not as positive as three months ago as concerns sales, capital spending and hiring.
From the BRT's news release, "America’s CEOs Soften Expectations on U.S. Economy":
CEOs envision somewhat slower overall economic growth for 2012 and have modestly lower expectations for sales, capital expenditures, and hiring as compared to last quarter,” said Jim McNerney, Chairman of Business Roundtable and Chairman, President and CEO of The Boeing Company. “While CEOs see continued economic expansion, the dip in quarterly sentiment reflects concern over increasingly persistent obstacles to a stronger recovery, including uncertainty over year-end U.S. government tax and spending plans and a path to resolution of the Eurozone crises.”
In a briefing with reports, McNerney said the failure of Washington to address the "fiscal cliff" and taxation were discouraging companies from making decisions that could revive economic growth. Companies are also taking action already on employment decisions, i.e., jobs, in anticipation of sequestration, he noted, especially as regards the aerospace industry.
Early news reports...
UPDATE (2 p.m.):
BRT President John Engler interview on CNBC, "CEOs Downgrade Economic Outlook: Survey":
We had 100 CEOs in Washington last week for our quarterly meeting. The concern was palpable in the room. Everybody is worried about the things that are out of their control. They think they are doing a pretty good job in a lot of their companies. Remember. our CEOs represent a lot of economic sectors, a consensus, not just manufacturing or not just financial services or energy, it's across the entire economy, $6 trillion in revenues. They've got a pretty good handle on things and they are worried: Congress keeps wanting to put things off until after the election but maybe Europe doesn't allow us to wait. Certainly, for leadership purposes we shouldn't wait.
Los Angeles Times, "U.S. CEOs lower expectations on sales, hiring and capital spending":
The group's chairman, Boeing Co. Chief Executive Jim McNerney, said that "continued political wrangling in D.C." is causing "continued concern" among members of the Roundtable, which represents top U.S. companies.
Problems in the Eurozone also worry U.S. firms. "Most American large corporations are exposed to Europe in terms of sales and costs," McNerney said. They are "more concerned about the impact on sales."
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