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.

America’s CEOs Soften Expectations on U.S. Economy

Less Optimism on Sales, Hiring, and Capital Expenditure Growth

Washington – The results of Business Roundtable’s (BRT) second quarter CEO Economic Outlook Survey for 2012 show a slight downturn in CEOs' expectations for sales, capital spending and hiring for the next six months.

“CEOs envision somewhat slower overall economic growth for 2012 and have modestly lower expectations for sales, capital expenditures, and hiring as compared to last quarter,” said Jim McNerney, Chairman of Business Roundtable and Chairman, President and CEO of The Boeing Company. “While CEOs see continued economic expansion, the dip in quarterly sentiment reflects concern over increasingly persistent obstacles to a stronger recovery, including uncertainty over year-end U.S. Government tax and spending plans and a path to resolution of the Eurozone crises.”

Survey Results

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

In terms of the overall U.S. economy, Business Roundtable members estimate real GDP will grow by 2.1 percent in 2012, down slightly from last quarter’s estimate of 2.3 percent. 

Second Quarter 2012 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 – trended downward to 89.1 in the second quarter of 2012, from 96.9 in the first quarter of 2012. 

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

The survey was completed between May 17 and June 8, 2012. Responses were received from 164 member CEOs, 78 percent of the total BRT membership, and the highest response rate in the survey’s nearly 10-year history. The percentages in some categories may not equal 100 due to rounding.

Past Surveys