Daily News: February 7, 2012

YPO: U.S. CEO Confidence Jumps in Latest Pulse Survey

The YPO Global Pulse Index for the U.S. rebounded sharply in the fourth quarter of 2011, climbing 4.5 points to 62.2. The latest survey results also suggest that a faster pace of hiring may be forthcoming: the YPO Employment Confidence Index for the U.S. rose 1.5 points to 59.8, the highest reading since YPO began measuring CEO sentiment in July 2009.

After lagging the YPO Global Index in every quarter since the survey began, the U.S. weighed in above the global reading for the first time. Expectations about sales, headcounts and capital spending all climbed higher in the fourth quarter, suggesting that U.S. CEOs seem to anticipate a moderate pace of economic expansion during the coming 12 months.

According to the survey, the outlook for capital spending improved. The YPO Fixed Investment Confidence Index for the U.S. followed the same positive pattern, rising 2.3 points to 60.5. This series had declined in each of the two previous quarters but then recovered much of what it lost by the January 2012 survey.

“The Index declined in both the third and fourth quarters of 2011, but in recent months, it has become clear that GDP growth accelerated toward the end of the year, softening fears of a double dip and fanning optimism among business leaders,” said Alan Zafran, managing partner of California-based investment adviser Luminous Capital and a member of YPO’s Global One Chapter.

Stephen Slifer, YPO Global Pulse economic adviser and chief economist at NumberNomics, said, “The rising optimism seen in the latest YPO survey is consistent with recent economic reports indicating that the U.S. economy has finally begun to crank out a respectable number of new jobs. In addition, the upswing in optimism was almost certainly bolstered by indicators that the housing sector has finally begun to emerge from the doldrums.”

To read the full text of the YPO Survey news release, click here.