On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the highest, participants in Chief Executive’s September CEO Confidence Index survey rated future business conditions (12 months out) a 5.90, fully 20 points higher than their 5.70 rating in August and their 5.69 rating in July.
Leaders of large businesses continued to have the least confidence, with a 5.63 rating, well below the average 5.90. No doubt they are very concerned the next administration will affect their business, with regard to both taxation and other legislation.
Conversely, small businesses have the most positive outlook, with a future-business rating of 6.01 overall, compared to mid-marketers, who rated future business conditions 5.89.
In addition, the majority of respondents (67.7%) expect their company’s revenue to increase over the next 12 months, while 35.5% expect profits to grow. Just 23.9% anticipate higher capital expenditures, while 33.2% expect to hire more staff.
Confidence varies by industry
Government/ Nonprofit CEOs gave the highest rating at 7.00, followed by leaders of Construction/ Engineering/ Mining companies, at 6.42. CEOs of Energy/Utility companies gave the lowest rating at 4.00, followed closely by Transportation with 4.86.
Ratings in the Retail Trade and Professional Services industries increased the most month over month from August to September (18.8% and 11.9%, respectively). Retail Trade rated business conditions 12 months from now a 5.94, 8th highest out of 15, while Professional Services leaders gave a 6.03, 4th highest for the month of September.