CEO confidence stabilizes following pandemic volatility [Q2 2023 Vistage CEO Index]
Pilots will tell you that any landing you walk away from is a good landing, it’s just that some are smoother than others. Over the last 9 quarters, the Vistage CEO Confidence Index captured pandemic-driven economic volatility — from a low of 65.5 recorded in Q3 2020 to a high of 108.8 a year later before collapsing again to 69.0 in Q2 2022. Since then, the Vistage CEO Confidence Index has stabilized at 74.2, with the last 4 quarters moving within a 2.7-point range.
The predictive nature of the Vistage CEO Confidence Index tells us that while we might have safely landed on the ground, we’re not where we want to be, and there is no departure time set for the next growth cycle.
As we celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Vistage CEO Confidence Index, we are thrilled to introduce some new elements to make the data even more valuable to decision-makers. Highlights include:
- A collaboration with our trusted partner, ITR Economics, which introduces a new methodology for analysis
- A new interactive website, providing business leaders with the ability to view a comprehensive dataset
- A user-friendly report with key highlights, analysis and perspectives from multiple experts.
For 20 years, the Vistage CEO Confidence Index has been the definitive voice of high-performing, high-integrity small and midsize business leaders. It’s provided the world-class insights that chief decision-makers need in service to our vision of being the most trusted resource to SMBs.
The Vistage CEO Index as a leading indicator
As our new partner, ITR Economics applied their “rate-of-change” methodology to over 20 years of Vistage data. Their analysis — conducted by Jackie Greene, Vice President of Economics for ITR — discovered “a strong predictive relationship between the Vistage CEO Confidence Index and the U.S. Industrial Production Index.” She shares the lead time is significant as well. “In fact, the Vistage CEO Confidence Index leads [it] by about 9 months.”
Watch our conversation with Jackie to gain valuable insights that can help CEOs make informed decisions. We’ll discuss key considerations and provide additional guidance.
The Q2 Vistage CEO Confidence Index survey was conducted June 5-12, 2023, and gathered 1,265 responses from CEOs and key executives for small and midsize businesses that are active Vistage members.
Key highlights include:
- Just 50% of CEOs expect increased revenues, a 3-year low.
- 44% expect the economy to worsen in the next 12 months, a 9-point improvement over 53% last quarter.
- 48% of CEOs plan to increase their workforce, the lowest since Q2 2022.
Focus on Technology: Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence (AI) has long been hyped as the next great thing. In 2018, our research report revealed that just 13.6% of SMBs were leveraging AI. Those leveraging AI were using it to support business operations (51%) and customer engagement (45%), with its potential capabilities largely left in IT’s hands to unlock.
Our latest survey revealed that now over half (51%) of CEOs report using AI in the area of customer engagement alone. Learn more about how small and midsize business leaders leverage AI in our analysis.