CEOs See Continued Uncertainty for U.S. Economy

  CEOs See Continued Uncertainty for U.S. Economy

 Outlook for Sales, Hiring, Capital Spending and GDP Growth Remain Modest in
                            Face of ‘Fiscal Cliff’

Business Wire

WASHINGTON -- December 12, 2012

The results of Business Roundtable’s (BRT) fourth quarter 2012 CEO Economic
Outlook Survey show CEOs’ expectations are largely unchanged, with a slight
decline in expectations for sales and capital spending and a slight rise in
expectations for hiring. This follows a significant drop in expectations in
the third quarter of 2012.

Business Roundtable 2012 Q4 CEO Economic Outlook Index (Graphic: Business
Roundtable)

Business Roundtable 2012 Q4 CEO Economic Outlook Index (Graphic: Business
Roundtable)

“CEOs anticipate continued slow overall economic growth for the next six
months and have slightly lower expectations for sales and capital
expenditures,” said Jim McNerney, Chairman of Business Roundtable and
Chairman, President and CEO of The Boeing Company. “The continued softness in
quarterly sentiment reflects deep uncertainty about the future overall
economic climate, realities of a slow-growing economy and frustration over
Washington’s inability to resolve looming ‘fiscal cliff’ issues.”

In addition to fiscal policy issues, 35 percent of the CEOs reported that
regulatory costs were of highest concern in the next six months, followed by
labor and health care costs. This contrasts with the fourth quarter of 2011,
when material costs were the CEOs' top concern. The CEO survey is now in its
11th year.

Survey Results

The survey’s key findings from this quarter and the third quarter of 2012
include:

                                                  
            2012 Q4                       Quarterly  2012 Q3
                                           %
            Increase  No      Decrease  Change     Increase  No      Decrease
                        Change              Increase               Change
How do you
expect
your
company’s
sales to    58%       24%     17%       0%         58%       27%     15%
change
in the
next six
months?
How do you
expect
your
company’s
U.S.
capital     30%       48%     23%       0%         30%       51%     19%
spending
to change
in the
next six
months?
How do you
expect
your
company’s
U.S.
employment  29%       42%     29%       0%         29%       37%     34%
to change
in
the next
six
months?

BRT CEOs expect 2.0 percent growth for 2013, an increase from last quarter’s
estimate of 1.9 percent. CEO expectations for hiring over the next six months
are roughly neutral, which represents a slight improvement from the expected
decrease reported last quarter.

Fourth Quarter 2012 CEO Economic Outlook Survey Index

The Business Roundtable CEO Economic Outlook Survey Index – a composite index
of CEO expectations for the next six months of sales, capital spending and
employment – remained essentially unchanged at 65.6 in the fourth quarter of
2012 from 66.0 in the third quarter. While the Index remains above 50.0 –
signaling continuing economic expansion – it is at its lowest level since the
third quarter of 2009 and is well below its long-term average level of 79.4.

Business Roundtable’s CEO Economic Outlook Survey, conducted quarterly since
the third quarter of 2002, provides a forward-looking view of the economy by
BRT member CEOs.

The survey was completed between November 12 and 30, 2012. Responses were
received from 143 member CEOs, 67 percent of the total BRT membership. The
percentages in some categories may not equal 100 due to rounding. Results of
this and all previous surveys can be found at http://www.brt.org/ceo_survey.

  Business Roundtable (BRT) is an association of chief executive officers of
  leading U.S. companies with more than $7.3 trillion in annual revenues and
 nearly 16 million employees. BRT member companies comprise nearly a third of
  the total value of the U.S. stock market and invest more than $150 billion
annually in research and development – equal to 61 percent of U.S. private R&D
  spending. Our companies pay $182 billion in dividends to shareholders and
 generate nearly $500 billion in sales for small and medium-sized businesses
                                  annually.

    BRT companies give more than $9 billion a year in combined charitable
                                contributions.

  Please visit us at www.brt.org, check us out on Facebook and LinkedIn, and
                            follow us on Twitter.

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Contact:

Business Roundtable
Amanda DeBard, 202-496-3269
 
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