December 2016: CEO Confidence Finishes Out Year on High Note

CEOs are clearly excited about the prospect of the president-elect taking office on Jan. 20. After a 10.8% jump in November, their confidence in future business conditions 12 months from now increased another 5.9% in December.

CEO confidence has a direct impact on their expectations for their companies’ top and bottom lines. Nearly half (47.4%) of all December 2016 respondents expect their revenue to rise 1 to 9.9% 12 months from now, 22.1% expected their revenues to grow 10 to 19.9%% and 12.7% expect it to rise 20% or more. Profit projections followed a similar pattern, with 38.7% anticipating a 1 to 9.9% increase, 21.2% a 10 to 19.9% increase and 14.2% anticipating an increase above 20%.

This confidence shows in their overall ratings. CEOs rated their confidence in business conditions 12 months from now a 6.93 out of 10 (with 1 being the lowest and 10 being the highest); that’s a 5.9% jump from November’s 6.54, and a 14.7% jump from 6.04 last January.


“Finally, with a change in the White House the economy will start to get better,” one CEO said. “Our management team is highly optimistic the national tax and regulatory environment will improve materially with the incoming administration,” said another.

Not everyone agrees, however.

One CEO remains concerned about state regulations in California, while another felt that “the simultaneous and multiple overlapping ripple effects of the Trump election … will erode U.S. and global B2B and B2C buying confidence and many other critical yet tenuous commerce support mechanisms and financial foundational structures.”

Compared with previous presidential elections, confidence is nearly at 2004 levels (the CEO Confidence Index was launched in 2002).



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