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by CareyBot

Chief executives' confidence in the economy edged up in the first quarter 2006, The Conference Board reported in its latest survey of CEOs, though more CEOs said they expect employment in their industries to decline. The chief executives' confidence measure, which had improved to 56 in the final quarter of 2005, edged up to 57 in the first quarter of 2006, according to the survey, which includes about 100 business leaders in a wide range of industries. A reading of more than 50 points reflects more positive than negative responses. "CEOs are less confident about the future state of the economy than they were at the close of 2005," said Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center. "As a result, many anticipate hiring plans to cool and employment levels to decline....