While still cautious about the economy, business executives continue to raise their expectations for hiring in the coming year, according to the third quarter
"We've seen expectations on hiring and business expansion gain steadily throughout the year," said
The CPA Outlook Index–a comprehensive gauge of executive sentiment within the survey– remains unchanged from last quarter at 69 points. The index is a composite of nine, equally weighted survey measures set on a scale of 0 to 100, with 50 considered neutral and greater numbers signifying positive sentiment.
Most elements of the index rose modestly or were unchanged. U.S. economic optimism fell four points, in part due to concerns about health-care reform and political gridlock. Organization optimism–how executives feel about their own companies–slid a single point after a steady increase in each of the previous three quarters. Significantly, however, each component of the index is higher now than a year ago, with U.S. economic optimism up 21 points year-over-year, despite this quarter's dip.
Other findings of the survey include:
Key Performance Indicators – Profit and revenue expectations continue to track upwards at a modest pace. Hiring – Some 53 percent of business executives say their companies have the right number of employees. The largest companies (those with more than
Methodology The third quarter
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