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March 2016: A Light at the End of the Tunnel?

March's 6.04 rating out of 10 (with 10 being the highest) is the first significant increase in CEO confidence in 5 months. Could it be that CEOs are seeing a light at the end of the tunnel?

The presidential race has now dwindled down to two Republican candidates and two Democratic candidates, and the election is just 8 months away. When CEOs look at what they expect business conditions to be like 12 months from now, they are looking at a time when the presidential election is behind them and the new president has been sworn into office.

However, their predictions vary drastically based on who wins the election. “If we get a Republican president, my 12-month ‘Good’ forecast holds. With Hillary, I’d change that to ‘Weak’,” one respondent said. Another feels that “When Trump gets in, the business climate will start to improve overnight.” Conversely, another said that if we move toward socialism/progressivism, it will “diminish growth and profit opportunities and cause a basic slowdown in creativity and risk taking.”

Another CEO felt the election itself was detrimental to business. “It is difficult to be energetic and excited as a leader when our purported leaders in DC can only sling mud and draw lines in the sand as examples the rest of us should follow. Is it any wonder the electorate is upset!”

March Overall

CEO respondents rated their expectations of future business conditions (12 months out) a 6.04 overall out of 10, with 10 being the highest. While it’s still a lower rating than 10 out of the last 12 months, it is the first time in 5 months that the rating has gone up instead of down. At just a 3.2% increase, however, it could be an anomaly that might correct itself again next month. Only time will tell.





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