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CEO Confidence Index March 2010

All components of the CEO Confidence Index Increase by Double Digits

Chief Executive magazine’s CEO Confidence Index, the nation’s only monthly CEO Confidence Index, rose by a healthy 16% in March, rising to 102.5. The CEO Confidence Index has reached its highest level since September 2008 – what most consider the beginning of the economic collapse.

All five components of the CEO Confidence Index rose by double digit growth rates in March. The Current Confidence Index led the gains, rising 21.7% to 73.6. While it remains the lowest of all the indexes, it has nearly recovered to its October 2008 value of 76.4.  

The Investment Confidence Index rose 18.1% to 118.4. “We have seen a lot of businesses willing to talk about longer term commitments. A year ago, nobody was willing to talk about any significant investment more than a month or two into the future,” one CEO told Chief Executive.

The Employment Confidence Index increased 17.1%, rising to 83.5. CEOs appreciate the importance of jobs to full recovery. One CEO commented, “Consumers are going to have to feel more secure in their jobs before they start spending, which will in turn jump start the economy.”

Future Confidence Index rose 13.6% to 122.1. The increase in the Future Confidence Index reflects CEO’s expectations of continued improvements in the economy over the next quarter.

The Business Condition Index rose 12.3%, increasing to 101.0.  

An optimistic CEO declared, “The economy feels stronger” but many CEOs have a more cautious outlook; a representative of the more guarded majority explained, “Until volatility in all aspects of the world (politics, business, government deficits, etc.) settles to more normal levels, economic conditions will limp along. The US and the world economies will show growth in 2010 since the comparison base of 2009 was so depressed. That means that business conditions will continue to be challenging.”

CEO Confidence Index, March, 2010
Respondents:  189

Index

February, 2010

March, 2010

Monthly Change(%)

CEO Index

86.1

102.5

16.0%

Current Confidence Index

57.6

73.6

21.7%

Future Confidence Index

105.5

122.1

13.6%

Business Condition Index

88.6

101.0

12.3%

Invest Confidence Index

97.0

118.4

18.1%

Employment Confidence Index

69.2

83.5

17.1%

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