CEO Confidence Improves, The Conference Board Reports

Fourth Consecutive Quarterly Increase

Jan 13, 2010, 10:00 ET from The Conference Board

NEW YORK, Jan. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- The Conference Board Measure of CEO Confidence increased to 64 in the fourth quarter of 2009, up from 63 in the previous quarter (a reading of more than 50 points reflects more positive than negative responses). This is the fourth consecutive quarterly increase. The figure stood at 24 one year ago.  

Says Lynn Franco, Director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center: "The continued improvement in CEO confidence suggests further economic growth in 2010. However, short-term expectations do not suggest a significant strengthening in the pace of growth."  

CEOs' assessment of current economic conditions continued to pick up, with 75 percent stating conditions had improved compared to six months ago, up from 68 percent last quarter. In assessing their own industries, business leaders' attitudes remained essentially unchanged, with 54 percent claiming conditions are better, compared with 55 percent last quarter.      

Looking ahead six months, CEOs remain optimistic. Approximately 58 percent expect economic conditions to improve in the next six months, about the same as last quarter. Expectations for their own industries were less optimistic, with 45 percent anticipating an improvement in the months ahead, down from 51 percent last quarter.  

Inflation Outlook: Expect Moderate Price Increases in 2010

The majority of CEOs expect changes in their firms' selling prices in 2010. On average, firms plan to hike prices by 1.6 percent, higher than last year's expectation of 1.0 percent. Only 5 percent anticipate price increases in excess of 10 percent. About 15 percent plan to decrease prices, and 29 percent foresee no change.

Survey results were fielded from mid-November to mid-December 2009


CEO Confidence 4th Quarter 2009

The Conference Board


The Conference Board is a global, independent business membership and research association working in the public interest. Our mission is unique: To provide the world's leading organizations with the practical knowledge they need to improve their performance and better serve society. The Conference Board is a non-advocacy, not-for-profit entity holding 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt status in the United States.

SOURCE The Conference Board