Optimism Bowed Not Broken
Remember the 1990 Rory Gallagher song, Bowed Not Broken? It’s about gamblers trying to game the system and who, despite their struggles, are “bowed not broken.” While CEOs may be less optimistic about the overall economy than they were six months ago, they remain confident in their own businesses – not out of false hope, but because they know how to prepare for any economic eventuality and navigate their organizations for success.
In the Q3 2015 Vistage CEO Confidence Index Survey and in the September WSJ/Vistage Small Business CEO Survey, CEOs expressed their concerns about the outlook for the U.S. economy largely based on uncertainties about international conditions, volatile and declining stock prices, and the expectation that an increase interest rates is right around the corner. Despite these concerns, CEOs continued to be more optimistic about prospects for their own firms. The Vistage CEO Confidence Index was 96.3 in the 3rd quarter 2015 survey, down from 99.0 in the 2nd quarter and last year’s 103.4. The Index for the WSJ/ Vistage Small Business CEO Survey dropped from 105.1 in August to 103.7 in September.
Despite the recent dip in confidence, the data indicate that most firms now expect a continued slow pace of economic growth. Revenue and profit growth were judged slightly better than last quarter, and firms still plan to expand their payrolls as well as increasing their planned fixed business investments to be better able to profit from sales growth in the future. Overall, CEOs displayed a prudent sense of optimism about their firm’s future in a challenging economy.
In this month’s Pulse of Small Business video, you’ll hear from a number of CEOs about why they remain optimistic and why you should, too! Let us know how you feel about the prospects for your business by leaving us a comment!