Monday, July 28th24.3°C
22568

US CEOs more optimistic on hiring and sales, but still expect modest growth this year

WASHINGTON - Optimism among chief executives of large U.S. companies has reached a two-year high, driven by a more positive outlook toward hiring and sales.

The Business Roundtable said Tuesday that its CEO outlook index rose to 95.4 in the second quarter, up from 92.1 in the first quarter. That is the highest level since the second quarter of 2012.

The positive sentiment among CEOs of some of the largest U.S. companies could bode well for hiring and growth. The U.S. economy has been adding jobs at a steady pace this year and the unemployment rate has fallen to 6.3 per cent, a five-year low.

The proportion of CEOs expecting to hire in the next six months rose to 43 per cent, up from just 37 per cent in the first quarter.

Still, the outlook was not all rosy: the percentage of CEOs planning to invest more in their businesses fell to 44 per cent from 48 per cent.

Randall Stephenson, CEO of AT&T and chairman of the Roundtable, blamed the drop on the expiration of several investment tax breaks at the beginning of the year.

The decline is "troubling because of the high correlation between business investment and economic and job growth," Stephenson said.

The CEOs also forecast that the economy will grow at just a 2.3 per cent pace in 2014. That would be better than last year's 1.9 per cent growth, but below many economists' hopes at the beginning of this year that growth would reach 3 per cent.

Growth this year has been dragged down by harsh winter weather, which closed factories and kept consumers away from shopping malls and car dealers in the first quarter. Many analysts expect the economy contracted at a 2 per cent annual rate from January through March.

The International Monetary Fund, a global lending organization, lowered its forecast for U.S. growth this year to just 2 per cent, from 2.7 per cent, partly because of the weather impact.

The Federal Reserve is also expected to downgrade its economic projections for this year after a two-day meeting ends Wednesday.

The CEO survey was conducted between May 14 and June 4, and 131 of the Business Roundtable's 200 member CEOs responded.

The Canadian Press


Read more Business News




Recent Trending




Today's Market
S&P TSX15445.22-9.82
S&P CDNX1019.852.41
DJIA16982.5922.02
Nasdaq4444.909-4.655
S&P 5001978.91+0.57
CDN Dollar0.9251-0.001
Gold1305.20+2.10
Oil101.39-0.28
Lumber321.20-1.80
Natural Gas3.733-0.014

 
Okanagan Companies
Pacific Safety0.195+0.01
Knighthawk0.01-0.005
QHR Technologies Inc1.150.00
Cantex0.065-0.005
Anavex Life Sciences0.265-0.01
Metalex Ventures0.08+0.01
Russel Metals35.15-0.21
Copper Mountain Mining2.97+0.15
Colorado Resources0.225+0.015
ReliaBrand Inc0.10+0.019
Sunrise Resources Ltd0.02-0.03
Mission Ready Services0.19+0.01

 



22557

FEATURED Property
2013262362 Stellar Drive
5 bedrooms 4 baths
$685,000
more details
image2image2image2
Click here to feature your property
Please wait... loading


Take charge of your debt

Photo: Thinkstock.comWays to reduce your Debt:Make a budget and get budget counselingA basic first step for debt reduction is to prepare a budget and plan your spending. Once you have a budget, you mu...


Geopolitical tensions rattle markets

The Big Picture Geopolitical tensions rattle markets The spectre of rising geopolitical tensions in Ukraine and Gaza cast a shadow over an otherwise positive week in the markets. News that a passenger...


Labour shortage in BC

The mainstream media are finally waking up to something unusual in British Columbia – a labour shortage. If the experience of Alberta is a guide to our own future, the highly skilled labour will...

_








Member of BC Press Council


22685