The CEOs of America’s leading companies plan increases in employment, sales and capital expenditures over the next six months, according to the results of Business Roundtable’s fourth quarter 2010 CEO Economic Outlook Survey.
“Demand is returning as evidenced by anticipated sales increases, and that is good news. When demand increases, capital expenditures and employment follow – which is what we expect to see in the next six months,” said Ivan G. Seidenberg, chairman of Business Roundtable and chairman and CEO of Verizon Communications. “However, our CEOs expect GDP to grow at rate of only 2.5 percent in 2011, so there is still more work that needs to be done to get the economy back on the path toward strong, sustainable growth.”
The survey’s key findings from this quarter and the third quarter of 2010 include:
In terms of the overall U.S. economy, member CEOs estimate real GDP will grow by 2.5 percent in 2011.
This quarter’s survey also asked member CEOs to identify their greatest cost pressures. Materials, health care and labor costs ranked among the CEOs’ top concerns. About one-third of CEOs named materials costs as having the greatest impact among a diverse range of pressures that include pension, litigation and energy expenditures.
“Copper prices and corn prices are at near record highs. Cotton prices and most metals prices are also very high,” added Seidenberg. “As a result of these marked increases, materials are being cited as the greatest cost pressure, with health care costs coming in next as a significant cost pressure.”
Fourth Quarter 2010 CEO Economic Outlook Survey Index
The Business Roundtable CEO Economic Outlook Survey Index increased to 101 in the fourth quarter of 2010, up from 86 in the third quarter of 2010.
Business Roundtable’s CEO Economic Outlook Survey, conducted quarterly since the fourth quarter of 2002, provides a forward-looking view of the economy by Business Roundtable member CEOs.
The survey was completed between November 8 and December 3. 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.businessroundtable.org/ceo_survey.
Business Roundtable is an association of chief executive officers of leading U.S. companies with nearly $6 trillion in annual revenues and more than 12 million employees. Member companies comprise nearly a third of the total value of the U.S. stock markets and pay more than 60 percent of all corporate income taxes paid to the federal government. Annually, they pay more than $167 billion in dividends to shareholders and the economy.
Business Roundtable companies give more than $7 billion a year in combined charitable contributions, representing nearly 60 percent of total corporate giving. They are technology innovation leaders, with more than $111 billion in annual research and development spending – nearly half of all total private R&D spending in the U.S.