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, close to 44 percent of CEOs claim current economic conditions are better, up from 34 percent in the third quarter. In assessing their own industries, business leaders were also more positive than last quarter. About 39 percent say conditions are better, up from 35 percent in the prior survey.

CEOs are more optimistic about the short-term outlook than they were in the third quarter of 2005. Nearly 41 percent of business leaders expect economic conditions to improve in the next six months, up from 34 percent last quarter. Expectations for their own industries were also more positive, with close to 44 percent anticipating an improvement, up from 38 percent last quarter.

The majority of chief executives expect to increase their firms’ selling prices in 2006, with 13 percent anticipating price increases in excess of 10 percent. On average, firms plan to hike prices by 3.4 percent, the same as last year. Some 11 percent plan decreases, and 20 percent foresee no change.


What’s your opinion? Send your Letter to the Editor to

Show Comments Hide Comments


Sign up for Inman’s Morning Headlines
What you need to know to start your day with all the latest industry developments
By submitting your email address, you agree to receive marketing emails from Inman.
Thank you for subscribing to Morning Headlines.
Back to top
Only 3 days left to register for Inman Connect Las Vegas before prices go up! Don't miss the premier event for real estate pros.Register Now ×
Limited Time Offer: Get 1 year of Inman Select for $199SUBSCRIBE×
Log in
If you created your account with Google or Facebook
Don't have an account?
Forgot your password?
No Problem

Simply enter the email address you used to create your account and click "Reset Password". You will receive additional instructions via email.

Forgot your username? If so please contact customer support at (510) 658-9252

Password Reset Confirmation

Password Reset Instructions have been sent to

Subscribe to The Weekender
Get the week's leading headlines delivered straight to your inbox.
Top headlines from around the real estate industry. Breaking news as it happens.
15 stories covering tech, special reports, video and opinion.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
It looks like you’re already a Select Member!
To subscribe to exclusive newsletters, visit your email preferences in the account settings.
Up-to-the-minute news and interviews in your inbox, ticket discounts for Inman events and more
1-Step CheckoutPay with a credit card
By continuing, you agree to Inman’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

You will be charged . Your subscription will automatically renew for on . For more details on our payment terms and how to cancel, click here.

Interested in a group subscription?
Finish setting up your subscription