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CEO confidence index: strong and steady

CEOs of small and mid-sized companies remain confident in the economy and their business prospects, according to the latest reading of the Vistage CEO Confidence Index. The index measured 106.9 in the first quarter of 2017, a slight increase from the 105.2 measured last quarter (Q4 2016) but well above the 91.4 reading from the previous quarter (Q3 2016).

Other highlights from the quarterly survey include the following.

CEOs predict continued economic growth

According to the majority of CEOs surveyed, the economy has started to rebound and shows signs of continued growth in the year ahead. Fifty-nine percent of CEOs reported that the economy had recently improved, compared to 42% last quarter and 27% one year ago. The outlook for the economy was the same as last quarter, with 57% of CEOs stating that they expect the economy to continue to grow in the next 12 months.

Total fixed investment expenditures to increase

Forty-seven percent of firms said they expected to increase their investment spending in the next year. “There is no clearer indication of an improved economic outlook than the fact that CEOs have become more willing to invest in new productive capacity in anticipation of greater future sales increases,” said Dr. Richard Curtin of the University of Michigan.

Firms plan to hire more

Sixty percent of CEOs said they planned to expand their total number of employees in the next 12 months. About 32% said they would increase their hiring steadily over the year. The survey respondents also expressed the most positive net-employment intentions in the past 10 years.

Positive outlook for revenues and profits

Similar to last quarter, 77% of CEOs say that they expect revenue gains this year. Coupled with last quarter’s 78%, this represents the most positive revenue expectation in the past 10 years.

View the infographic here. 

Read the full report here. 

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