CEOs Growing More Confident in Economy

Dallas, TX, Feb. 4, 2014 -- Chief executives are growing more confident in the U.S. economy, according to the quarterly survey by the Young Presidents Organization.

The organization said its confidence index for the U.S., measuring the opinions of CEOs, rose three points to 63.5 in the fourth quarter.

The index broke out of the narrow range it traced for the past 15 months, reaching its highest level since April 2012.

"Over the past three months, CEOs appear to have turned the corner from cautious to confident,” said Alan Zafran, managing director First Republic Investment Management, and a member of YPO’s Global One Chapter.

“Where in October they saw an economy stalled by deep divisions in Washington and worried about Fed tightening, they now see an economy gathering speed, fueled by stock market and employment gains and the promise of continued low interest rates.”

Overall sales expectations rose, with smaller companies most optimistic, as the percentage expecting higher sales 12 months from now rose to 67% from 60%.

Small companies (fewer than 100 employees) remained the most optimistic, with 74% expecting a sales increase over the coming 12 months, compared with 65% of medium-size companies and 56% of large companies (more than 500 employees).

The outlook for hiring also bumped up to 59.9 from 58.9, although the majority (55%), however, plan to keep head counts about the same.

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