Date
24 March 2017
Fewer US chief executives plan to increase investment spending in the next six months. Photo: Bloomberg
Fewer US chief executives plan to increase investment spending in the next six months. Photo: Bloomberg

Corporate chiefs less optimistic about US growth outlook

Chief executives in the United States have become a bit more pessimistic in their outlook for the US economy this year, Reuters reported, citing a quarterly survey by a business group.

Fewer of them expect to increase sales, investment and hiring this year, the Business Roundtable’s second-quarter survey showed.

The poll, done before US gross domestic product for the first quarter was revised downward last month, showing an annualized contraction of 0.7 percent, found the chief executives expect 2.5 percent growth in GDP this year.

That is lower than the 2.8 percent growth expected in the last quarterly survey and 2.4 percent in the one done at the end of last year.

In the most recent survey, 70 percent of respondents said they expected sales to rise in the next six months, down from 80 percent in the first quarter, while 35 percent said they expected spending to increase over that period, down from 45 percent in the previous survey.

Thirty-four percent said they expected to hire more workers over the next six months, down from 40 percent in the last quarterly survey.

“Of particular concern is the downward movement of our CEOs’ investment plans,” said Randall Stephenson, chairman of the Business Roundtable and chief executive of AT&T Inc.

“Business investment is a key driver of economic expansion and job growth.”

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