CEO Economic Outlook Survey: Scaling Back Expectations | Business Roundtable

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CEO Economic Outlook Survey: Scaling Back Expectations

Jun 8, 2015

Business Roundtable released its Q2 CEOs Economic Outlook Survey today, revealing lowered expectations for sales, capital spending and employment for the rest of 2015. The CEOs also lowered their estimates for GDP for the year, down to 2.5 percent from the previous quarter's projection.

With a House vote pending on Trade Promotion Authority, reporters asked about the legislation during BRT Chairman Randall Stephenson briefing on the survey today. A positive, bipartisan vote in the House -- it has already passed the Senate -- could help build momentum for tax reform and other important measures to boost growth, said Stephenson, Chairman and CEO of AT&T, Inc.

The full survey is available here, and here's a round-up of news coverage:

Wall Street Journal, "Business Roundtable: CEOs Scale Back Plans for Hiring, Investment":

The survey of 128 CEOs reflects expectations for sales, capital spending and hiring in the next six months.

“Of particular concern is the downward movement of our CEOs’ investment plans,” said Randall Stephenson, chairman of the business group and chairman and CEO of AT&T. “Business investment is a key driver of economic expansion and job growth.”

Los Angeles Times, "Top CEOs lower their economic outlook, plan less spending and hiring":

The group's quarterly economic index declined to 81.3 from 90.8 in the first quarter. The long-term average is 80.5, and the index can range from 150 to negative 50.

"These results are consistent with an economy that continues to operate well below its full potential," said AT&T Inc. Chief Executive Randall Stephenson, the group's chairman.

Business Journals, "Big business CEOs dial back plans for jobs, capital spending":

Business Roundtable CEOs, who represent the largest corporations in the U.S., are putting on "an all-out full-court press" to get this legislation passed, Stephenson said. Passing TPA also could provide momentum for getting tax reform passed this year, another step Congress could take to encourage business growth, Stephenson continued. Chances for corporate tax reform, much less an overhaul of the individual tax code as well, may look slim, but "I think it's too early to declare defeat," he said.

"You can't sit here in a competitive environment with the highest tax rate in the developed world and think it doesn't have an effect" on business, Stephenson added.