Close this search box.
Close this search box.

CEOs Are Optimistic, but Still Hope for Political Change

The CEO Confidence Index, Chief Executive’s monthly gauge of CEOs’ expectations for business conditions over the next 12 months, was relatively unchanged in August compared to July, falling just 0.7 percent to 6.11 out of a possible 10. This rating is still among the highest CEOs have given since 2011.

The rating of current conditions also stayed flat since July, dipping only 0.8 percent to 5.88 out of 10. This rating is the second-highest CEOs have given for current overall business conditions since the onset of the financial crisis in September 2008, indicating the current economic climate is as good as it has been in at least six years in the eyes of CEOs.

“Business is slowly improving, margins are improving, and new capital investment is starting to happen,” reported the CEO of a middle market energy company. “Overall we see all businesses improving: energy (power delivery and generation), food, environmental and federal. We do, however, see a decline or delay in most international projects.”

Despite the fact that ratings for business conditions are at multi-year highs, the majority of CEO respondents expressed skepticism, especially about conditions in Washington, D.C. and the leadership of the executive branch. While the economy has seemingly turning a corner, most CEOs still hope for a change in the White House that will yield better conditions over the coming years.

In a trend that has continued for the past several years, the CEOs of largest companies rate business conditions the highest among their peers, both currently and for expectations a year from now. Companies with $100 million or more in revenue rated current conditions at 6.03, as compared to those with between $10-99.9 million in revenue, which rated conditions at 5.82. Optimism is growing, but the largest companies seem to be benefiting the most in 
the short term.


  • Get the CEO Briefing

    Sign up today to get weekly access to the latest issues affecting CEOs in every industry
  • upcoming events


    Strategic Planning Workshop

    1:00 - 5:00 pm

    Over 70% of Executives Surveyed Agree: Many Strategic Planning Efforts Lack Systematic Approach Tips for Enhancing Your Strategic Planning Process

    Executives expressed frustration with their current strategic planning process. Issues include:

    1. Lack of systematic approach (70%)
    2. Laundry lists without prioritization (68%)
    3. Decisions based on personalities rather than facts and information (65%)


    Steve Rutan and Denise Harrison have put together an afternoon workshop that will provide the tools you need to address these concerns.  They have worked with hundreds of executives to develop a systematic approach that will enable your team to make better decisions during strategic planning.  Steve and Denise will walk you through exercises for prioritizing your lists and steps that will reset and reinvigorate your process.  This will be a hands-on workshop that will enable you to think about your business as you use the tools that are being presented.  If you are ready for a Strategic Planning tune-up, select this workshop in your registration form.  The additional fee of $695 will be added to your total.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $695 will be added to your total.

    New York, NY: ​​​Chief Executive's Corporate Citizenship Awards 2017

    Women in Leadership Seminar and Peer Discussion

    2:00 - 5:00 pm

    Female leaders face the same issues all leaders do, but they often face additional challenges too. In this peer session, we will facilitate a discussion of best practices and how to overcome common barriers to help women leaders be more effective within and outside their organizations. 

    Limited space available.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $495 will be added to your total.

    Golf Outing

    10:30 - 5:00 pm
    General’s Retreat at Hermitage Golf Course
    Sponsored by UBS

    General’s Retreat, built in 1986 with architect Gary Roger Baird, has been voted the “Best Golf Course in Nashville” and is a “must play” when visiting the Nashville, Tennessee area. With the beautiful setting along the Cumberland River, golfers of all capabilities will thoroughly enjoy the golf, scenery and hospitality.

    The golf outing fee includes transportation to and from the hotel, greens/cart fees, use of practice facilities, and boxed lunch. The bus will leave the hotel at 10:30 am for a noon shotgun start and return to the hotel after the cocktail reception following the completion of the round.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $295 will be added to your total.