Industry News

CEO confidence improves

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Chief executives' confidence, which had declined to 50 in the third quarter, improved to 56 in the final quarter of 2005, The Conference Board reports in its latest survey of CEOs. The survey includes about 100 business leaders in a wide range of industries. A reading of more than 50 points reflects more positive than negative responses. "Much of the improvement in confidence can be attributed to the resiliency of the economy post-Katrina and the recent declines in fuel prices," said Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center. "Despite the rebound, CEOs were less confident at the close of 2005 than at the start. Looking ahead, they are cautiously optimistic, but not as optimistic about the short-term outlook as they were at the end of 2004. As for their inflation expectations for 2006, they expect modest increases, about 3.4 percent, much the same as they expected for 2005." CEOs' assessment of current conditions improved, according to the survey. Now, c...