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Data: The Conference Board; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

In contrast to the dwindling confidence of most U.S. consumers, CEOs have not felt as good about the economic outlook as they do now in nearly 20 years.

By the numbers: The Conference Board's latest quarterly reading of CEO confidence rose to its highest since the first quarter of 2004.

  • Overall, 82% of CEOs expect economic conditions to improve over the next six months, up from 63% last quarter, the Conference Board reported.
  • The percentage of CEOs expecting conditions to worsen was cut in half, dropping to 7% from 15%.
  • Similarly, 78% of CEOs anticipate short-term prospects in their own industries to improve, up from 65% in September.

Between the lines: The nine-point jump in CEO confidence followed a 19-point surge in September from the previous survey, rising to 73 for Q1.

  • CEO confidence declined to as low as 34 in March 2020. A reading below 50 means more respondents said they were less confident than respondents who said they were more confident during the survey period.

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Fauci: Children "very likely" to get COVID vaccine at start of 2022

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Children under age 12 will "very likely" be able to get vaccinated for coronavirus at the "earliest the end of the year, and very likely the first quarter of 2022," NIAID Director Anthony Fauci told "Meet the Press" Sunday.

Why it matters: Children generally aren't at risk of serious coronavirus infections, but vaccinating them will be key to protecting the adults around them and, eventually, reaching herd immunity, writes Axios' Caitlin Owens.

Virginia lawmakers vote to legalize marijuana in 2024

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam. Photo: Alex Edelman/Getty Images

Lawmakers in Virginia on Saturday approved compromise legislation that would legalize marijuana in 2024, putting the state a step closer to becoming the first in the South to end prohibition on the drug, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports.

Why it matters: The legislation will make Virginia the 16th state to legalize marijuana, per Politico. It would add to a slate of laws that have seen Virginia move in a more progressive direction during the tenure of Gov. Ralph Northam.