The Conference Board Measure of CEO Confidence, which had increased in the fourth quarter of 2012, improved again in the first quarter of 2013. The Measure now reads 54, up from 46 in the previous quarter (a reading of more than 50 points reflects more positive than negative responses).
CEOs’ assessment of current economic conditions has grown more positive, with 36% claiming conditions are better compared to six months ago, up from 15% last quarter. About 29% of business leaders say conditions in their own industries have improved, compared with approximately 13% in the fourth quarter of 2012.
CEOs’ short-term outlook is also more optimistic. Currently, 32% of business leaders expect economic conditions to improve over the next six months, up from 23% last quarter. Expectations for their own industries are also more upbeat, with 33% of CEOs anticipating an improvement in conditions in the months ahead, up from 19% in the fourth quarter.