Business Leaders Upbeat Over 2018 Economic Prospects
Business optimism is still on the rise thanks to strong economic indicators and pro-growth policies, according to a survey conducted by the Business Roundtable, a lobbying group that represents CEOs of large U.S. companies.
The fourth-quarter CEO economic outlook index that tracks projections for sales, investments, and hiring, reached 96.8, the highest level in nearly six years.
According to the survey conducted in November, 76 percent of CEOs said they expect their sales to increase in the next six months.
“The U.S. economy is strong, and business leaders are increasingly confident in continued economic growth, marked especially by their plans for additional capital investment,” said Jamie Dimon, chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase and chairman of the Business Roundtable, in the group’s fourth-quarter survey report.
The survey also found that 49 percent of CEOs expect to increase their capital spending, while 43 percent plan to hire more people.
“This business confidence rests on the pro-growth economic agenda of policymakers,” Dimon stated.
A majority of business leaders support tax reform. In an earlier survey by the group, 87 percent of CEOs identified the existing U.S. tax code as the most important drawback for the U.S. economy, and 76 percent said they would hire more people if tax reform were successfully implemented.
“To continue this momentum, it is critical that we enact pro-growth tax reform that will level the playing field for U.S. business to be globally competitive,” said Dimon.
Business leaders are also speaking out in favor of the deregulation efforts of the Trump administration.
“The easing of cost pressures tied to regulation has contributed to continued confidence in the economy,” stated Joshua Bolten, Business Roundtable president and CEO, in the report.
“More progress toward smarter regulation, coupled with enactment of pro-growth tax reform this year, will keep building on U.S. economic momentum.”