Confidence in the corner office rebounded last month after a steep fall in October, when corporate leaders seemed spooked by high energy prices. The mood may have improved partly because CEOs are looking into 2006, when they expect increased spending on innovation to start paying off.
Our broadest indicator, the CEO Confidence Index, increased 7.6 points to 166.1, and both Current Confidence and Future Confidence, which are components, headed higher as well.
Nearly 60 percent of our 352 respondents said they would increase spending on innovation in the new year. Fewer than 5 percent said they would reduce it. And they expect better financial results because of that spending. Some 62.6 percent are looking for a return in the first year. Over five years, perhaps because of the difficulty of peering that far into the future, the expectations are slightly less robust but still significant.