Majority of CEOs Expect a Recession

Business leaders are increasingly downbeat on the state of the U.S. economy

CEOs are increasingly downbeat on the economy, with more than half now expecting a recession ahead, according to a recent survey.

The Conference Board’s Measure of CEO Confidence fell for the fourth straight quarter in the 2nd quarter of this year. The measure now stands at a score of 42, down from 57 in the first quarter — a level not seen since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nearly 60% of surveyed CEOs expect inflation will come down over the next few years. However, they also believe that the Fed’s interest rate hikes will cause a brief recession.

Sixty-one percent of CEOs said economic conditions were worse than six months ago, up from 35% in the first quarter. Thirty-seven percent of the CEOs said conditions in their own industries were worse than six months ago, up from 22% in the first quarter.

Slightly more than half (54%) of CEOs said they were effectively managing rising input costs by passing on costs to their customers, while more than two-thirds said they are increasing wages across the board in response to labor market conditions.

"Companies have been able to pass on rising costs to consumers, so far, but there will be a breaking point when consumers are unwilling to spend on anything beyond basic necessities. Rising credit card balances are foretelling that slowdown, and as interest rates rise, consumers are likely to tighten up their wallets," added Caleb Silver, Editor-in-Chief of Investopedia.

CEO Economic Confidence
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