CEOs’ assessment of current economic conditions was less pessimistic, with 17 percent saying conditions have improved compared to six months ago, up from just 11 percent last quarter. In assessing their own industries, however, business leaders were more pessimistic. Now, about 16 percent claim conditions have improved, down from 19 percent in the third quarter of 2011.
CEOs’ optimism about the short-term outlook improved from last quarter. Currently, about 32 percent of business leaders anticipate an improvement in economic conditions over the next six months, up from 19 percent in the third quarter. Expectations for their own industries are also more upbeat, with approximately 25 percent expecting conditions to improve in the months ahead, up from 22 percent last quarter.
Inflation Outlook: Moderate Price Increases Anticipated in 2012
The majority of chief executives expect changes in their firms’ selling prices in 2012. On average, firms plan to increase prices by 1.8 percent, much less than last year’s expectation of 3.3 percent. Only 6 percent anticipate price increases in excess of 10 percent.