CEO confidence highest since 2014
Corporate executives' confidence has hit a three-year high even as their hopes for economic growth and job creation have dimmed, according to a survey released Tuesday.
The latest Business Roundtable CEO Economic Outlook Index hit its highest level since the second quarter of 2014 as belief grew that pro-growth policies out of the Trump administration would yield long-term benefits. That came even though the executives see GDP growth of just 2 percent in 2017, down from 2.2 percent in March.
"The survey results reflect confidence from America's leading employers in the prospects for tax reform, as well as the tangible economic benefits that tax reform will produce," said Business Roundtable Chairman Jamie Dimon said in a statement.
"CEOs are also responding to the administration's commitment to creating a more favorable regulatory environment, protecting the safety and health of our citizens while also protecting jobs," added Dimon, who is CEO of JPMorgan Chase, the largest bank by assets in the U.S.
The rising confidence comes amid a volatile backdrop.
President Donald Trump 's plans to cut taxes, lower regulatory barriers and increase infrastructure spending have been slow to launch since he took office in January. While the administration has been caught up in a thus-far unsuccessful fight to replace Obamacare, the broader economy has struggled. GDP rose just 1.2 percent in the first quarter and the past three months have seen lackluster employment gains.
However, CEOs remain of the belief that the changes eventually will take hold. Indexes for investment and sales both rose, though hiring dipped.
"Business leaders remain confident that Congress and the administration will enact tax reform because the cost of inaction for America's businesses and workers is too great," Joshua Bolten, Business Roundtable president and CEO, added in a statement.