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 Slight Increase in U.S. Economic Output in 2013

Uptick in Sales, Hiring Plans Tempered Somewhat by Expectations for Capital Expenditures

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Washington – The results of Business Roundtable’s (BRT) second quarter 2013 CEO Economic Outlook Survey show CEOs expect a slight improvement in economic output over the next six months, with modest improvement in sales expectations and hiring.

CEO expectations for the U.S. economy increased for the second time in five quarters. They assessed the GDP would grow at a 2.2. annual rate in this survey, up from 2.1 percent expect growth in last quarter’s survey.

“Survey results show CEOs expect a small increase in overall economic growth this year led by modest improvement in sales and hiring,” said Jim McNerney, Chairman of Business Roundtable and Chairman, President and CEO of The Boeing Company. “Overall, CEOs see the U.S. economy still on a slow road to recovery. Relative to economic conditions, business performance remains strong, but the U.S. government’s unresolved long-term fiscal path and an uncertain political environment are key obstacles to more robust economic growth and hiring.”

The CEO survey is now in its 11th year.

Survey Results

The survey’s key findings from this quarter and the first quarter of 2013 include: 

While the number of CEOs expecting higher capital expenditures over the next six months declined by 1 percent between the first and second quarter, the number of CEOs reporting decreased expectations declined by a greater percentage (3 percent). Thus, overall CEO expectations for capital spending over the next six months increased relative to the previous quarter.

Second 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 in the second quarter of 2013 to 84.3 from 81.0 in the first quarter. The Index signals expected continued economic expansion and is at its highest level since the second quarter of 2012. The current Index is at modestly above its long-term average level of 79.3.

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 May 13 and May 31, 2013. Responses were received from 141 member CEOs, 67 percent of the total Business Roundtable membership. The percentages in some categories may not equal 100 due to rounding.

Past Surveys