CEO Survey: Economic Signs Make Slight Improvement | Business Roundtable

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CEO Survey: Economic Signs Make Slight Improvement

Jun 15, 2016

Business Roundtable CEOs are becoming slightly more optimistic about their companies' capital investment, sales and hiring over the next six months, according to BRT's Quarterly CEO Economic Outlook Survey for the second quarter of 2016. 

However, the CEOs projection for GDP growth for 2016 ticked down from 2.2 percent to 2.1 percent. 

In a media briefing call on the survey, Business Roundtable Chairman Doug Oberhelman, Chairman and CEO of Caterpillar Inc., stressed that the economy continued to underpeform -- “It never felt like an expansion” -- reiterated the economic case for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and discussed tax modernization as critical to more robust growth.

A news round-up:

Wall Street Journal, "CEOs Turn More Bullish About Business Investment": 

“Increased plans for near-term sales, investment and hiring indicates modest economic improvement,” said Doug Oberhelman, CEO of Caterpillar Inc. and chairman of Business Roundtable. But weak growth expectations “points to an economy that continues to perform below its potential.”
 
He renewed his call for Washington lawmakers to act on “pro-growth policies.” He said those include ratifying the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal and updating the tax system.
 

USA TODAY, "CEOs expect to hire and spend more, but GDP to slow":

The economy has been trapped in the same “one step forward, one step back” cycle for years, said Doug Oberhelman, chairman and CEO of Caterpillar and chairman of the Business Roundtable.
 
“We need sustained, healthy growth, which would be aided by enactment of pro-growth policies, such as ratifying the Trans-Pacific Partnership and updating our outdated tax system,” he said.
 
“There is, on this, a fundamental difference in how we view the world compared to the leading presidential candidates,” said BRT President John Engler. He said the trade deal with Pacific-rim nations “remains a high priority” for business leaders who are urging Congress to approve the agreement this year, before a new president takes office.
 
BRT Chairman Doug Oberhelman, CEO of Caterpillar Inc., said the business group is “doing all we can in high gear” to lobby lawmakers to approve TPP this year.
 
“That’s really why we’re ramping it up now. What happens later, happens later,” he said.
 
Business executives want the Treasury to reconsider new rules meant to limit corporations from moving their headquarters overseas, arguing that the tax change was written too broadly and will hit all kinds of companies.
 
The Treasury must allow businesses through the end of the year to comment on its rules to prevent companies from loading up on debt to lower their U.S. tax bills, Caterpillar CEO Doug Oberhelman said Tuesday on a conference call with reporters organized by the Business Roundtable, a major business group.
 
"It really is an anti-competitive writing that puts U.S. companies at a distinct disadvantage to competitors, and actually will have the opposite effect of what they're trying to do," said Oberhelman, who is chairman of the Business Roundtable.

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