The Conference Board Measure of CEO Confidence, which had decreased in the third quarter of 2018, declined in the fourth quarter. The Measure now reads 42, down from 55 in the third quarter of 2018 (a reading of more than 50 points reflects more positive than negative responses). This is the lowest reading since Q3 2012.
Only 21% say conditions are better compared to six months ago, down from 49% last quarter. Meanwhile, about 39% say conditions are worse, up from less than 8% in the prior quarter. CEOs were also much more negative about current conditions in their own industries compared to six months ago. Now, just 21% say conditions are better, down from 31% last quarter, while those who say conditions have worsened rose to 35%, up from 25% last quarter.