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Economy in Brief

Vistage Survey of Small Businesses Grows Somewhat More Optimistic
by Tom Moeller July 12, 2010

CEOs from around the U.S. grew more optimistic about the U.S. economy last quarter, but the degree of improvement was the least of the current recovery. Although the Vistage CEO confidence index rose just 0.7% from 1Q (+36.8% y/y), the index has been growing since the late-2008 low. Since inception in 2003 the index level has an 80% correlation with the Q/Q change in real GDP.

The company's release indicated that 9% of executives polled are planning layoffs in the next 12 months, the lowest level in three years. Almost half were expecting to keep their number of employees constant. The survey results also indicate significant disillusion about governmental support of small businesses. Increased taxes and intrusive regulations topped the list of concerns. More than 87% of the CEOs polled feel the federal government doesn't understand the challenges small businesses face well enough to help expand business opportunities.

The Vistage CEO Index is a compilation of responses from thousands of CEOs of small and mid-sized companies. The source is Vistage International.

 The index figures are available in Haver's SURVEYS database.

Restoring the Flow of Credit to Small Businesses is this morning's speech by Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke and it can be found here

Q2 '10 Q1 '10 Q4 '09 Q3 '09 2009 2008 2007
Vistage CEO Confidence Index
(2Q '03=100)
94.4 93.7 87.9 84.9 75.6 65.7 85.8
Q/Q Chg. 0.7% 6.6% 3.5% 23.0% 15.1% -23.5% -10.7%
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