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CEOs getting more pessimistic

From a poll conducted by the Young Presidents' Organization:

American CEOs responding to the YPO Global Pulse economic sentiment survey during the first two weeks of July 2010 expressed weakened confidence about the outlook for their sales and employment levels and the overall business climate compared with the April survey, driving a 3.5-point drop in the U.S. CEO Confidence Index to 57.5 from 61.0 in April. This was the first downturn in the YPO U.S. Index in the five quarters since the survey’s launch 12 months ago. ...

Looking to the future, the percentage of CEOs bullish about their company’s sales outlook declined in July compared with the April survey. The percentage of respondents expecting sales increases of 10% or more over the coming 12 months fell from 69% in April to 57% in July, while the percentage of those expecting sales to remain about the same grew from 26% to 35%.

A solid majority (62%) expects their employee count to be about the same a year from now as it is today. This is a slight increase from 58% in April. The percentage of CEOs expecting to increase their staff by 10% or more declined to 30% from 36% three months earlier.

By Ezra Klein  |  August 10, 2010; 10:04 AM ET
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Aggregate demand is the dog, corporate activity the tail. Expecting corporate activity to pick up in the face of dwindling aggregate demand through the magic of tax cuts is futile. All resources, public and private, need to be borne upon the key problem of high unemployment.

Posted by: pneogy | August 10, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

I love the new hit reality show about CEOs who actually, gasp, go out into their company and discover what a productive bunch of little worker bees they have and then smack around a supervior or middle manager for following their leadership. Captains of industry who's knowledge is their 'feeling' about sales and margins.

Perhaps they might feel more positive, or have informed pessemism if they actually interacted with their companies instead of spending time on Martha's Vineyard. Ah well, at least they're experiencing record profits.

Posted by: Jaycal | August 10, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Small business CEOs are some of our most conservative citizens and since the 111th congress started they've been pushing for policies to bring us exactly to this point. I hope they enjoy what they wrought.

At least their taxes are low while they aren't making any money, right?

Posted by: HerooftheBeach | August 10, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Meanwhile, on the other side of the globe, despite China's huge $28B trade surplus in July,

"Stock markets across Asia weakened in response to the latest economic statistics, which included an unexpected slump in China’s imports that seemed to suggest a softening of demand."

That softening of demand may be what those CEOs may be feeling. China is the new big dog, for the time being. If it catches cold, the global economy will catch what?

Posted by: tuber | August 10, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

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