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- US CEOs Most Optimistic since 2006
Remember: The start of the 2006 was the very peak of the housing market in the US and hence of the biggest credit bubble mankind had ever known. Yet CEOs have reached that same level of optimism.
Dec. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Optimism among U.S. chief executives in the fourth quarter rose to the highest level since the start of 2006 as business leaders projected increased sales, investment and hiring, a private survey showed.
The Business Roundtable’s economic outlook index climbed to 101 after falling in the previous quarter for the first time since the beginning of 2009, the Washington-based group said today. Readings higher than 50 coincide with an economic expansion. The gauge, which increased from a third-quarter reading of 86, rose to 102 in the first quarter of 2006.
Forty-five percent of respondents said they will add to payrolls, an increase of 14 percentage points, while 80 percent said they expect sales will grow in the next six months, up from 66 percent in the third quarter. Businesses need to pick up hiring to lower an unemployment rate that’s been at 9.5 percent or higher for 16 straight months, the longest such stretch since record-keeping began in 1948.
Fifty-nine percent of executives said they plan to spend more on equipment, up from 49 percent, the survey showed.