US CEOs less confident now

By Xinhua

New York : The confidence level of US CEOs has shown a decline in the second quarter this year, said a report released here.

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The Conference Board Measure of CEO Confidence, which had improved to 53 in the first quarter of 2007, fell to 45 in the second quarter, according to the report released Wednesday.

A reading of more than 50 points reflects more positive than negative responses.

"Several quarters of sluggish economic growth have taken a toll on CEOs' confidence, erasing two quarters of improvement," said Lynn Franco, consumer research centre director of the Conference Board, an economic research group.

"Looking ahead, CEOs do not expect a significant turnaround in conditions and profit expectations. Only a quarter expect profits to increase versus three-quarters last year, reflecting their pessimistic outlook," he added.

The survey includes about 100 business leaders in a wide range of industries.

CEOs' assessment of current economic conditions was little changed from earlier this year, with 23 percent of CEOs compared to 24 percent last quarter claiming the current economic environment is better.

CEOs are less optimistic about the short-term outlook than they were last quarter. Just 17 percent of business leaders expect economic conditions to improve in the next six months, down from 27 percent last quarter.

Expectations for their own industries were also significantly less positive, with 17 percent anticipating an improvement, down from 35 percent last quarter.