CEO Economic Outlook Index

The Business Roundtable CEO Economic Outlook Index is based on a survey — conducted quarterly since the fourth quarter of 2002 — of our member CEOs’ plans for hiring and capital spending, and their expectations for sales, over the next six months. Taking these factors together, the survey signals the direction of the U.S. economy.

CEOs Expect Increased Sales and Capital Spending During Next Six Months

Moderate Uptick in Outlook for Sales and Capital Spending, While Hiring Expectations Remain Flat


Listen to a recording of BRT's call to announce the findings of this quarter's survey here and find a transcript here.

Washington – The results of Business Roundtable’s (BRT) first quarter 2013 CEO Economic Outlook Survey show CEOs’ expectations for the economy over the next six months have improved due to expected higher sales and capital spending, but that expectations for hiring remain flat.

CEO economic expectations increased for the first time in four quarters. BRT CEOs also expect 2.1 percent growth for 2013, a slight increase from last quarter’s estimate of 2.0 percent.

“CEOs foresee somewhat better economic performance for the next six months, with improved expectations for sales and capital expenditures,” saidJim McNerney, Chairman of Business Roundtable and Chairman, President and CEO of The Boeing Company. “The relatively smaller improvement in the outlook for hiring, however, may reflect ongoing uncertainty and a wait-and-see attitude about the business climate in the United States, as agreement on the nation’s debt and budgetary issues remains elusive. 

The CEO survey is now in its 11th year.

Survey Results

The survey’s key findings from this quarter and the fourth quarter of 2012 include: 

First Quarter 2013 CEO Economic Outlook Survey Index

The Business Roundtable CEO Economic Outlook Survey Index – a composite index of CEO expectations for the next six months of sales, capital spending and employment – increased significantly in the first quarter of 2013 to 81.0 from 65.6 in the fourth quarter of last year. The Index signals expected continued economic expansion and is at its highest level since the second quarter of 2012. The current Index is at about its long-term average level of 79.2.

Business Roundtable’s CEO Economic Outlook Survey, conducted quarterly since the third quarter of 2002, provides a forward-looking view of the economy by BRT member CEOs.

The survey was completed between February 11 and March 1, 2013. Responses were received from 144 member CEOs, 69 percent of the total Business Roundtable membership. The percentages in some categories may not equal 100 due to rounding. 

Past Surveys

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