A gauge of CEOs' short-term view of the economy fell this quarter amid concerns about inflation, rising interest rates, and the overall global economic picture.
The Business Roundtable’s CEO Economic Outlook Survey, which measures business leaders’ plans for capital spending and employment and sales expectations over the next six months, fell to a reading of 76.1, from 78.6 in the first quarter. It was the fifth quarter out of the last six to post a decline after hitting an all-time high in the fourth quarter of 2021.
The survey found plans for hiring dropped 9 points, while those for capital expenditures (CapEx) gained a point. The outlook for sales held steady. The CEOs also predicted U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) would grow 1.5% this year.
In a special question this quarter, 82% of the respondents said that reforming the U.S. permitting processes for energy infrastructure projects would be necessary to improve energy security and speed up the transition to clean energy.
In its report, the Business Roundtable also called on government officials to strengthen the economy by advancing pro-growth policies. Chair Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors, praised the Congress and the White House for hammering out an agreement to raise the federal debt ceiling and avoid a potential U.S. default. She said that it was “a welcome signal from Washington that bipartisan agreement at a consequential moment is achievable.”