More CEOs now expect higher sales, more capital spending, and more hiring over the next six months than they did just last quarter, according to the latest data from Business Roundtable. Among the 128 CEOs who responded to the first quarter survey, 81% expect sales to rise compared with 69% in the fourth quarter; 48% expect capital spending to increase, compared with 32% a quarter ago; and 42% expect to hire more employees, compared with 35% last quarter.
James McNerny, the chairman of Business Roundtable and head of the Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) added a warning though:
Several factors, among them oil prices, a sluggish European economy, political uncertainty in the United States, and questions about future growth in Asia, remain as potential obstacles to higher rates of economic growth in the United States.
The CEOs surveyed also expected US GDP to grow by 2.3% in 2012, up from 2% at the time of the last survey.