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CEO Confidence Index January 2009

Business Leaders Still Very Pessimistic

The Chief Executive magazine’s CEO Index, the nation’s only monthly CEO Index, quietly rebounded in January according to 543 top executives surveyed. In January, all components of the CEO Index increased after three months of record declines.

The CEO Confidence Index rose 10.3 points, or 20 percent, to 51.2 points, in January in what was its greatest improvement since September 2008. The Employment Confidence Index, a sub-index used to calculate overall confidence in the job market, increased 60 percent, from 22 to 35.3 points; and the Business Condition Index increased to 27 points from 16.8, a 60 percent increase from last month.

“While the recent uptick is encouraging, it does not imply that CEOs have started to gain confidence in the economic environment,” said Edward M. Kopko, CEO and Publisher of Chief Executive magazine. “The low reading of the employment confidence, despite the increase in January, is suggestive of a continued poor labor market over the coming months.”

According to the survey, many CEOs believe that if they can use the current economic conditions to their advantage they will come out triumphant in the end.   As such, this month, 41.6 percent of respondents rated current investment opportunities as “good,” a 10.3 percent increase from last month. While 44.5 percent said they would consider them “bad,” a 10.3 percent decrease from previous polling.  “Now is an excellent time to be a well capitalized buyer of companies. We are actively negotiating for additional acquisitions,” said Steve Townes, CEO of Ranger Aerospace.

CEO Index, December 2008
Respondents: 543 



December, 2008

Monthly Change

CEO Index




Current Confidence Index




Future Confidence Index




Business Condition Index




Invest Confidence Index




Employment Confidence Index




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