March 2016: CEO Confidence Hinges on Election Outcome

The closer we come to the election, the more skittish CEOs become about future business.

The presidential race is having a direct effect on CEO confidence. The list of candidates has dwindled down to a handful and the election is just a half-year away. But when CEOs look at business conditions 12 months into the future, their expectations largely hinge on who will be sworn in on January 20, 2017.

Some CEOs feel strongly that a Republican candidate is needed to reverse the negative business climate they feel we are currently under. “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.”

However, not everyone agrees. “I see a significant economic ravine ahead if Trump is our leader,” one respondent said. Still another said the current market for his business “was good.”

In March, CEO respondents rated their expectations of future business conditions (12 months out) a 6.04 out of 10, with 10 being the highest—relatively flat against the last five months. However, there were significant variations in outlook by industry. Organizations in the government/nonprofit sector had the best future outlook, with a 7.33 rating, while those in the pharma/medical products industry had the worst future outlook, with a rating of 5.33.

May Confidence Index 2


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