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CEO confidence in economy plunges, according to Q4 2018 survey

economic growth

New data from Vistage research finds that the economic confidence of CEOs from small and midsize businesses has plunged in recent months.

In the Q4 2018 survey, the Vistage CEO Confidence Index measured 95.4, compared to 103.0 last quarter (Q3 2018) and 110.3 one year ago (Q4 2017). This drop reverses all of the gains recorded since the 2016 presidential election.

The index’s decline can be partially attributed to worsening economic expectations, says Dr. Richard Curtin, a researcher from the University of Michigan who analyzed the survey results. In the Q4 2018 survey, “fewer CEOs reported that current economic conditions had improved, and more CEOs expect the economy to weaken, rather than strengthen, during the year ahead,” Curtin says. “In the face of weakening growth, more CEOs anticipate a slowdown in the pace of revenue gains, and more plan to reduce their spending on new fixed investments.”

The survey was conducted December 3-10 and had 1,257 respondents.

Download the report to to get full survey results, including:

  • Correlation between real GDP and the Vistage CEO Confidence Index
  • Hiring intentions and profit expectations of SMBs
  • Factors influencing CEO sentiments and predictions
  • Growth prospects for 2019

Download infographic of results

Listen to the Marketplace report, in which Mitchell Hartman spoke to Vistage Chief Research Officer Joe Galvin about the survey results.

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