The Conference Board uses cookies to improve our website, enhance your experience, and deliver relevant messages and offers about our products. Detailed information on the use of cookies on this site is provided in our cookie policy. For more information on how The Conference Board collects and uses personal data, please visit our privacy policy. By continuing to use this Site or by clicking "OK", you consent to the use of cookies. 
The Conference Board Measure of CEO Confidence

THESE DATA ARE FOR ANALYSIS PURPOSES ONLY. NOT FOR REDISTRIBUTION, PUBLISHING, DATABASING, OR PUBLIC POSTING WITHOUT EXPRESS WRITTEN PERMISSION.

CEO Confidence Remains Unchanged in Second Quarter

09 Jul. 2019

The Conference Board Measure of CEO Confidence™, which had increased marginally in the first quarter of 2019, was unchanged at 43 in the second quarter of 2019 (a reading of more than 50 points reflects more positive than negative responses).

“CEO Confidence was unchanged in Q2, and remains at a moderately pessimistic level,” said Lynn Franco, Senior Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board. “CEOs’ expectations for growth prospects in mature and emerging economies remain subdued, with no pickup anticipated in the short-term. CEOs’ profit expectations have weakened compared to last year, with trade and tariff uncertainties and signs of a slowing global economy the likely causes of the deterioration.”

CEOs remain moderately pessimistic about current economic conditions, with 13 percent saying conditions are better compared to six months ago, down slightly from 14 percent last quarter. However, only 42 percent say conditions are worse, down from 46 percent in Q1. CEOs were less negative about current conditions in their own industries compared to six months ago. Currently, 21 percent say conditions are better, up from 12 percent last quarter.  

Looking ahead, CEOs’ expectations regarding the economic outlook also remained relatively pessimistic. About 13 percent anticipate economic conditions will improve over the next six months, compared with 14 percent in the first quarter. Meanwhile, 44 percent expect economic conditions will worsen, up from 42 percent last quarter. CEOs’ expectations regarding short-term prospects in their own industries over the next six months were somewhat more pessimistic. Now, only 17 percent anticipate an improvement in conditions, down from 19 percent last quarter.

Global Outlook Still Pessimistic

CEOs’ assessment of current global conditions remains negative. Sentiment about current conditions declined further for the US. Europe and China saw an uptick, but overall, sentiment was still very downbeat. Sentiment for Japan and Brazil remained relatively neutral for both countries, though Japan saw an uptick. Sentiment regarding current conditions in India improved and were the most favorable. 

Looking ahead, CEOs are still pessimistic about global growth prospects. India, however, remains an exception with short-term expectations improving marginally. Growth expectations for Japan, Brazil and the US were moderately negative, while CEOs viewed growth prospects in Europe and China the least favorably.

Profit Expectations Declined Considerably Compared to 2018

CEOs remain generally optimistic about profit expectations for the next twelve months, though much less so than last year. Now, about 69 percent expect profits to increase, compared to 91 percent last year. Executives in the durables industries are the most optimistic, with 75 percent expecting profits to increase, followed closely by CEOs in the nondurables industries, at 70 percent. Close to six out of ten CEOs in the service industries expect an increase in profits.

Among chief executive officers who expect profits to rise, 43 percent say market/demand growth will be the primary driving force, down from 62 percent last year. One third cited cost reduction, up from only 15 percent in 2018. Price increase was cited by 18 percent of CEOs, followed by new technology (cited by 8 percent) as the primary source of improvement in profits.

Results are from surveys fielded from mid-May to mid-June

Source: CEO Confidence Survey Second Quarter 2019 / The Conference Board

About The Conference Board

The Conference Board is the member-driven think tank that delivers trusted insights for what’s ahead. Founded in 1916, we are a nonpartisan, not-for-profit entity holding 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt status in the United States. http://www.conference-board.org

© The Conference Board 2016-2019.  All data contained in this news release are protected by United States and international copyright laws. The data displayed are provided for informational purposes only and may only be accessed, reviewed, and/or used in accordance with, and the permission of, The Conference Board consistent with a subscriber or license agreement and the Terms of Use displayed on our website at www.conference-board.org. The data and analysis contained herein may not be used, redistributed, published, or posted by any means without express written permission from The Conference Board.

COPYRIGHT TERMS OF USE

All data in this news release are protected by United States and international copyright laws. You must abide by all copyright notices and restrictions contained in The Conference Board’s Copyright Terms of Use displayed on our website at www.conference-board.org.

You may not reproduce, distribute (in any form including over any local area or other network or service), display, perform, create derivative works of, sell, license, extract for use in a database, or otherwise use any materials (including computer programs and other code) contained in this news release (“News Material”), except that you may download News Material in the form of one machine readable copy that you will use solely for purposes of news coverage in your publication(s) and not for any other purpose (including any reproduction or distribution, with or without charge, in a database, service bureau or similar service or activity). All rights not expressly granted herein by TCB are expressly reserved. You may not alter the News Material or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice displayed on the News Material. If you are a subscriber to any of the services offered by The Conference Board, you may be permitted to use News Material, according to the terms of your subscription agreement.

Trademarks

“THE CONFERENCE BOARD,” the TORCH LOGO, “CEO CONFIDENCE SURVEY,” “MEASURE OF CEO CONFIDENCE,” and other logos, indicia and trademarks featured on Our Sites are trademarks owned by The Conference Board, Inc. in the United States and other countries (“Our Trademarks”).

You may not use Our Trademarks in connection with any product or service that does not belong to us nor in any manner that is likely to cause confusion among users about whether The Conference Board is the source, sponsor, or endorser of the product or service, nor in any manner that disparages or discredits us.

Nothing herein shall restrict the use of the information by news journalists using the information in a legitimate news publication or periodical.

For further information contact:

Carol Courter
1 212 339 0232
carol.courter@conference-board.org

Joseph Diblasi
1 781 308 7935
Joseph.DiBlasi@conference-board.org

U.S. Indicators