A key indicator that measures chief executives' confidence in the economy moved up slightly in the first quarter of 2007, although the outlook for new hires remains weak, The Conference Board reported today. The Chief Executives' Confidence Measure, which had improved to 50 in the fourth quarter of 2006, rose to 53 in the first quarter of 2007, according to The Conference Board's latest survey of nearly 100 business leaders in a wide range of industries. A reading of more than 50 points reflects more positive than negative responses. "The improvement in CEO confidence this quarter is due primarily to a decline in the number of pessimists, not an increase in the number of optimists," Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center, said in a statement. "The good news, therefore, is that business leaders do not expect conditions to worsen. But by the same token, they do not expect conditions to improve." In assessing current economic conditions, 24 percent of CEOs ...
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