CEO confidence in economy tanks

CEOs in the U.S. are pessimistic about the economic environment and industry-specific challenges as a measure of their confidence, determined by The Conference Board, has fallen sharply between the first and second quarter of 2022. 

The measure of confidence is based on CEOs' perceptions of the future of the economy, revealing how confident they feel leading their organizations in the current economic climate and through industry challenges. The overall measure of confidence has fallen from 57 out of 100 in the first quarter to 42 in the second, meaning that responses from CEOs are more negative than positive.

In the second quarter of 2022, the survey saw CEO confidence decline, with 61 percent of CEOs saying economic conditions were worse now than six months ago. Around 37 percent of CEOs also said that the conditions in their industries were worse than six months ago, up from 22 percent who said the same thing in the first quarter of the year.

Eighty percent of CEOs reported difficulties attracting and hiring qualified workers and 91 percent expect to increase wages by 3 percent or more over the next year. Almost 70 percent are increasing wages across the board as a tactic to combat a tight labor market. More than half of CEOs said that they were managing rising input and labor costs by passing them onto customers.

"CEO confidence weakened further in the second quarter, as executives contended with rising prices and supply chain challenges, which the war in Ukraine and renewed COVID restrictions in China exacerbated," said Dana Peterson, chief economist of The Conference Board.

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