CEO confidence skyrockets on expectations of layoffs and wage cuts
U.S. consumers remain uncertain about the economic environment but CEOs are feeling incredibly confident, the latest survey from the Conference Board shows.
Why it matters: Confidence among chief executives jumped 19 points from its last reading in July, rising above the 50-point threshold that reflects more positive than negative responses for the first time since 2018.
The big picture: Judging by their stated expectations, CEO confidence is not a good sign for workers. Over the next 12 months, CEOs said they expect to cut jobs, hold down employee pay and reduce capital spending.
- 37% of CEOs expected to reduce their capital budgets in the year ahead, while 38% expected no change and 25% anticipated increasing spending.
- 34% expected a net reduction in their workforce, another 34% expected no change and just 9% expected an expansion of the workforce above 3%.
- 21% foresaw no increase in their employees’ wages and 5% said they may reduce wages.
- 62% of CEOs expected little to no problems finding qualified workers, while 11% expected widespread talent shortages or hiring problems.
Worth noting: Consumers globally grew slightly less confident this week, continuing a trend evidenced over the past six weeks across the income spectrum, per data provider Morning Consult’s Index of Consumer Expectations.
- The poll surveys 11,000 adults per day in 15 countries.