While economists continue to argue that the U.S. remains stuck in a growth recession, CEOs beg to differ. According to MarketWatch, the heads of some of the biggest companies in the country envision higher sales and increased hiring in the upcoming months. Yet, they’re less optimistic now than they were three months prior.
Hop on the happy Business Roundtable merry-go-round
In its latest quarterly survey, corporate research conglomerate Business Roundtable polled 135 U.S. CEOs from various areas of the corporate spectrum. Annual sales for the companies involved topped $6 trillion.
Most of the large companies attached to the survey plan to increase hiring and capital spending within six months. A whopping 87 percent of companies believe that sales will increase over that span to make hiring easier, yet that’s down from 92 percent after a more prosperous first quarter.
“This continues a positive trend for our companies’ activity heading into the second half of 2011,” said Ivan Seidenberg, Business Roundtable chair and CEO of Verizon Communications.
Despite signs of economic sluggishness, Seidenberg said that as long as oil prices recede as expected, growth can occur. Once Congress agrees upon limiting the debt cap and leans away from higher business taxes, the way will be clear.
(Lack of) May jobs bring June gloom
The May jobs report was less than stellar, as the U.S. Department of Labor indicates a steep drop in the percentage of new jobs added to the economy. Small and medium businesses couldn’t move forward, notes Seidenberg. Thus, expectations from CEOs on the panel have lowered since the first quarter, dropping from 113 then (the highest indicator sine 2002) to 109.9 now.
Fuel costs still a pain for consumers
As oil and gas prices remain high, the average U.S. household may not be able to see signs of recovery.
“You still have the kitchen table issue for most consumers,” remarked Seidenberg, referring to how fuel costs hurt the American family’s ability to afford basic staples.
Things aren’t so bad, right IT?
In the high-tech business world, some positive news has surfaced of late. According to TechJournal South, continued hiring in IT sectors in the third quarter of 2011 is expected. Seven percent of CIOs plan to expand their departments, while only 3 percent see cutbacks ahead.