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U.S. CEOs less optimistic about hiring, spending

WASHINGTON — Optimism among chief executives at the largest U.S. companies fell in the July-September quarter after reaching a two-year high in the previous quarter.

The Business Roundtable says that its CEO outlook index fell to 86.4 in the third quarter, down from 95.4 in the April-June period.

Fewer CEOs expect to hire in the next six months: Just 34 percent plan to add jobs, down from 43 percent. And only 39 percent plan to boost their capital spending, down from 44 percent.

Nearly three-quarters of the chief executives expect higher sales, the same as in the second quarter.

Randall Stephenson, CEO of AT&T and chairman of the Roundtable, blamed the decline of the index on Congress’ failure to extend temporary tax breaks that encourage research and development and investment spending.

One comment

  1. Why does corporate America rely on tax breaks from the government to finance R&D? R&D should be a part of their business development scheme and budget because innovation keeps the consumer market2549 churning and that ultimately means more profit for business.