CEO confidence in the United States declined to its lowest point since Q1 2009, according to The Conference Board’s quarterly Measure of CEO Confidence, which polled chief executives from mid-August to mid-September.
Close to three-quarters of those surveyed said that economic conditions are worse than they were six months prior, and 56% said that conditions would worsen in the short term.
“Tariffs and trade issues, coupled with expectations of moderating global growth, are causing a heightened degree of uncertainty,” said Lynn Franco, senior director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board. “As a result, more CEOs than last year say they have curtailed investment.”
According to a summary of the report, only 21% of CEOs have increased planned capital spending in 2019, while the same proportion plan to scale back spending “with cuts more pronounced among manufacturing firms.” Almost two-thirds are bracing for a decline in sales and profits, and one-third “say they already have, or plan to, pass along price increases to their customers.”