The Conference Board and PwC Measure of CEO Confidence, which had increased in the second quarter, pulled back in the third quarter of 2013. The Measure now reads 54, down from 62 in Q2 2013 (a reading of more than 50 points reflects more positive than negative responses).
"CEO confidence declined in the third quarter as increasing uncertainty about the short-term outlook prevailed," said Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board. "Expectations for growth in both India and Brazil deteriorated significantly, while the outlook for the U.S., Japan and China, despite being less upbeat, on balance remained positive."
CEOs’ assessment of current economic conditions declined considerably. Only 33 percent claim conditions are better compared to six months ago, down from 60 percent in the second quarter. Business leaders are also less positive about conditions in their own industries. Approximately 32 percent say conditions in their own industries have improved, down from 40 percent last quarter.
CEOs’ short-term outlook also retreated from last quarter. Currently, 42 percent of business leaders expect economic conditions to improve over the next six months, down from 60 percent in the second quarter. Expectations for their own industries are also more tepid, with just 34 percent of CEOs anticipating an improvement in conditions in the months ahead, down from 53 percent last quarter.
CEOs were more positive in their assessment of current economic conditions in Europe than last quarter, while sentiment was less favorable for the United States, China and Japan. CEOs’ sentiment regarding current conditions in India and Brazil has turned pessimistic compared to last quarter.
Expectations over the next six months were considerably more positive for Europe, while all other regions experienced declines. Expectations for India and Brazil deteriorated significantly and are quite negative. The short-term outlook for the U.S., Japan and China, despite declining, on balance remains positive.
Survey results were fielded from mid-August to mid-September