[Paleopsych] CEO Confidence Index Drops

Steve shovland at mindspring.com
Mon Sep 6 14:36:17 UTC 2004

As Election Nears, Chief Executives Back Bush on the Issues.
Drop in Employment Confidence Heralds Slow Job Growth.
MONTVALE, N.J....As CEOs face the prospects of terror, spiraling health 
care costs, high oil prices and softness in consumer spending and job 
growth, their outlook on the U.S. economy has dipped this month. After 
reaching a record high in July, the benchmark CEO Confidence Index fell 7.7 
points in August, to 169.7.
Perhaps more concerning, for the eighth month in a row, chief executives 
believe that current business conditions are better than future conditions, 
in this case by a wide margin (186.9 vs. 158.0). Both the overall CEO 
Confidence Index and its component indices were initially set at 100 when 
Chief Executive magazine began its monthly polling of the mood in America's 
corner offices in October 2002.
Despite these concerns, the CEOs surveyed this month by Chief Executive 
overwhelmingly support President Bush in his bid for re-election against 
Senator John Kerry. Asked which candidate would deal more effectively on 
eight key issues, from health care to terrorism to job creation and 
international trade, they said Bush on every account. The only issue where 
the polling was even close was health care, as 47.5% of the 358 respondents 
said they believed Kerry was better prepared to deal with it and 52.5 % 
backed Bush. The issues that produced the widest margins for Bush over 
Kerry among CEOs were terrorism/homeland security (82.7% vs. 17.3%) and 
taxation (81.9% vs. 18.1%).
"John Kerry's proclamation that CEOs support him in large numbers is not at 
all born out by what our CEO readers are saying," says Edward M. Kopko, 
chairman and CEO of the Chief Executive Group. "On the issues, CEOs find 
Kerry politically calculating and they clearly believe President Bush is a 
stronger leader. "
Over the past two years, the Employment Confidence Index has served as a 
leading indicator of U.S. employment levels, with typically a four-month 
lag between the two measures. This month, the Employment Confidence Index 
fell by 10.4 points, from 191.2 to 180.8. The polling was conducted prior 
to the release of the U.S. Department of Labor figures on job growth in 
July, which showed that job creation had slowed substantially.
"Although many CEOs support Bush, at the same time they're deeply concerned 
about the nation's job picture and the fundamentals of global competition," 
says William J. Holstein, editor-in-chief of Chief Executive magazine. 
"They also say they don't see strong leadership on health care and 
The CEO Confidence Index is released on the third Tuesday of each month. 
For additional information regarding the confidence of public- and 
private-company CEOs, details about regional CEO attitudes on employment, 
investment and business conditions, as well as confidence differences 
between service and non-service industry CEOs, visit our full report at 
Chief Executive is a controlled circulation magazine that reaches 42,000 
chief executive officers and their peers. It is published 10 times a year 
and reaches a total readership of 143,000. Chief Executive Group 
facilitates "Chief Executive of the Year," a prestigious honor bestowed 
upon an outstanding corporate leader, nominated and selected by a group of 
his or her peers. Jack Welch, Bill Gates, John Chambers, Michael Dell and 
Sandy Weill are just some of the leaders who have been honored throughout 
the award's 17-year history. Chief Executive also organizes roundtable 
meetings and conferences to foster opportunities for top corporate officers 
to discuss key subjects and share their experiences within a community of 
peers. Visit www.chiefexecutive.net <http://www.chiefexecutive.net> for 
more information.
Chief Executive
110 Summit Avenue
Montvale, NJ 07645
Tel: 201-930-5959
Fax: 201-930-5956

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