DALLAS--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--The YPO Global Pulse Confidence Index for the United States fell 1.5 points in the third quarter to 60.5 in the latest poll of U.S. CEOs, erasing all the gains it made in the previous quarter. For the past 15 months, business confidence in the United States has been stuck in a tight 3-point range.
“In the July survey, CEOs appeared to be reassured by the improved housing market, positive monthly employment figures and a rising stock market”
“In the July survey, CEOs appeared to be reassured by the improved housing market, positive monthly employment figures and a rising stock market,” said Alan Zafran, managing director of California-based investment adviser Luminous Capital, a division of First Republic Investment Management, and a member of YPO’s Global One Chapter. “Now that optimism has been tempered as YPO executives may be seeing evidence of the economic fallout from the deep divisions in Washington, which they know are likely to resurface in January.”
Globally, overall confidence levels across different regions continued to converge, with less than a point now separating Asia and the EU, compared with a 12.8-point difference six months ago.
Key findings in the United States
CEOs report weaker conditions and gloomier outlook, except in construction: The percentage of CEOs who said conditions had gotten better dropped to 38%, down from 49% in the July survey. The view looking ahead six months also deteriorated, with 42% expecting overall conditions to improve, a sharp decline from 51% three months earlier. An exception was the construction sector, where CEOs remained upbeat.
Sales expectations slip: The YPO Sales Confidence Index for the United States fell to 65.8 from 66.7 in the third quarter. While the decline was slight and the reading is still quite positive, this is the lowest sales confidence level in two years. Small companies remained the most optimistic, with two-thirds expecting higher sales revenues this time next year.
Hiring outlook muted: The YPO Employment Confidence Index for the United States declined less than a point to 58.9 in the latest survey. Construction companies were the most likely to be hiring, with about half saying they expected to add employees. That was much higher than the 35% of production company CEOs who planned to add workers.