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Mar 30

CEOs more upbeat about growth, jobs

Posted by Stephen Taub in jobsCEOsCashCareers/Managementcapital spendcapital expendituresBusiness Roundtable

Stephen Taub

CEOs continued to grow more upbeat about the overall economy and their own company's prospects.

According to the results of Business Roundtable's first quarter 2011 CEO Economic Outlook Survey member CEOs estimate real GDP will grow by 2.9 percent in 2011, an increase from the 2.5 percent expected in the fourth quarter of 2010.

What's more, 92 percent of the 142 CEOs surveyed expect their company's sales to increase in the next six months while none expect sales to decline. In the prior survey conducted at the end of the fourth quarter, 80 percent were looking for a sales increase while 4 percent expected a decline.

CEOs are also planning to increase investment in their own companies, further underscoring their confidence.

For example, 62 percent plan to boost capital spending over the next six months, up from 59 percent in the prior quarterly survey. Only 6 percent plan to cut capital spending.

However, a sizable 32 percent plan to change, the same amount three months earlier.

CEOs are also anticipating an expansion of their job ranks.

In the most recent survey, 52 percent said they expect employment to increase at their company in the next six months, up from 45 percent who anticipated expansion three months ago.

In addition, 11 percent expect to cut jobs at their company. Although this is not great news, it is significantly down from 18 percent three months earlier.

However, this also mean nearly four of 10 (37 percent) anticipate no change.

"The last three quarters have shown steady improvement in the CEO economic outlook," said Ivan G. Seidenberg, Chairman of Business Roundtable and Chairman and CEO of Verizon Communication, in a press release. "Our CEOs see momentum in the economy over the next six months, with increased demand fueling greater investment and job creation."

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