Economic / Future Trends

Optimism about U.S. economy tumbles, according to Q2 2019 CEO survey

The economic confidence of CEOs from small and midsize businesses has fallen to the lowest level in 3 years, according to a new survey from Vistage. The survey, conducted June 3-10, captured input from 1,463 CEOs.

An analysis of the survey data revealed that the Vistage CEO Confidence Index measured 88.4 in Q2 2019, down from 91.6 last quarter (Q1 2019) and 104.1 one year ago (Q2 2018). While all the components of the Confidence Index declined, the biggest contributor to the decline was significantly less favorable assessment of the U.S. economy. This assessment dropped about 30% from last year’s readings.

Less than one-third (31%) of all CEOs reported that economic conditions had recently improved. This is a slight improvement from last quarter but represents a 28-point drop from the 64% recorded last year. In addition, just 13% of CEOs anticipated improvement in the economy in the next 12 months. Most notably, 35% of CEOs reported that they expect the national economy will worsen in the year ahead.

“This figure is the highest recorded since Q4 2008 — although it is a mere fraction of the 60% recorded in late 2008, in the depths of the Great Recession,” said Dr. Richard Curtin, a researcher from the University of Michigan who analyzed the survey results. “Overall, the data indicate a slowing pace of economic growth during 2019.”


Download the Q2 2019 Vistage CEO Confidence Index report to learn more, including:

  • Sentiments about the performance of the U.S. economy
  • Revenue and profitability expectations
  • Expansion plans for hiring and investments
  • Talent management challenges
  • Impact of employee retention

Read the Report

About the Vistage CEO Confidence Index

Vistage CEO Confidence Index – Infographic



Category: Economic / Future Trends


About the Author: Joe Galvin

Joe Galvin is the Chief Research Officer for Vistage Worldwide. Vistage members receive the most credible, data-driven and actionable thought leadership on the strategic issues facing CEOs. Through collaboration with the Vistage community of…

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