News Column

CEOs Expect Slightly Improving Economy

June 12, 2013


The CEOs of the nation's top companies are predicting only a modest improvement in sales and hiring over the next six months, according to a survey released Wednesday by the Business Roundtable.

The top executives see the United States' economy continuing on the slow road to recovery, a similar path it has been on the past four years, the survey said. CEOs expect the GDP would grow at a 2.2 percent annual rate in the survey, up 2.1 percent from 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 the Business Roundtable in a statement. He is also the chairman, president and CEO of The Boeing Co.

"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," he said.

The survey found that 78 percent of CEOs expect sales to increase this year, an increase of 6 percent from its March survey. Just 32 percent to top executives expect to ramp up hiring, although up by 3 percent from the prior poll. A majority of the CEOs (52 percent) don't plan to increase capital spending.

The Business Roundtable is an association of chief executives of U.S. companies that represent more than $7.3 million in annual revenue and nearly 16 million employees. About 140 CEOs participated in the quarterly survey, which represents two-thirds of the membership.

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