Sep 24, 2018

Trade war uncertainty clouds CEO views on the economy

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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Coronavirus breaks the telecom bundle

Reproduced from Park Associates "Broadband Services in the U.S." report; Note: 2019 survey was conducted in Q3, with 10,059 respondents and a ±1% margin of error; Chart: Axios Visuals

Consumers are adopting stand-alone broadband services at a much higher rate than just two years ago, and analysts predict that the economic downturn prompted by the COVID-19 outbreak will accelerate the trend.

Why it matters: With a recession looming, consumers may look to cut pay TV service in favor of more robust standalone internet packages once they're free to leave their homes.

America's funeral homes buckle under the coronavirus

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Morgues, funeral homes and cemeteries in hot spots across America cannot keep up with the staggering death toll of the coronavirus pandemic.

Why it matters: The U.S. has seen more than 10,000 deaths from the virus, and at least tens of thousands more lives are projected to be lost. The numbers are creating unprecedented bottlenecks in the funeral industry — and social distancing is changing the way the families say goodbye to their loved ones.

Navarro memos warning of mass coronavirus death circulated in January

Image from a memo to President Trump

In late January, President Trump's economic adviser Peter Navarro warned his White House colleagues the novel coronavirus could take more than half a million American lives and cost close to $6 trillion, according to memos obtained by Axios.

The state of play: By late February, Navarro was even more alarmed, and he warned his colleagues, in another memo, that up to two million Americans could die of the virus.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health