Sep 24, 2018

Trade war uncertainty clouds CEO views on the economy

JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon poses with his arms folded.

JPMorgan CEO and Business Roundtable chairman Jamie Dimon. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Chief executives are still optimistic about the economy, but uncertainty (and in some cases, negative effects) from the trade war are weighing on sentiment, according to the Business Roundtable's most recent economic outlook survey of 141 CEOs.

Why it matters: More than half of the CEOs surveyed said the tariffs and uncertainty about the Trump administration's coming trade actions would negatively impact capital investment decisions. Last month, hundreds of companies warned the administration about the potentially damaging effects of the most recent round of tariffs against China.

Survey details:

  • The Business Roundtable's CEO economic outlook index declined slightly from the second quarter, but is still the 5th highest in its 16-year history.
  • CEOs project 2.8% GDP growth for 2018, up from the 2.7% estimate last quarter.
  • 87% of CEOs surveyed expect their respective company's sales to increase within the next 6 months, rising slightly from last quarter.
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