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CEOs downgrade US economic outlook

Ford worker on the assembly line at the Ford Dearborn Truck Plant, Dearborn, Michigan.
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Ford worker on the assembly line at the Ford Dearborn Truck Plant, Dearborn, Michigan.

Chief executives are downbeat on the U.S. economy, downgrading their outlook for the second half of the year, according to a new survey from the Business Roundtable.

The group's CEO Economic Outlook Index plunged to 81.3 for the second quarter, it announced Monday—that's the lowest figure since the same period in 2013. (Tweet This)

The index is a composite of the Business Roundtable member CEOs' plans for the next six months of sales, spending and employment. It stood at 90.8 in the first quarter of the year.

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The survey was conducted from April 22 to May 13, so last week's upbeat nonfarm payrolls report was not factored into the survey.

The survey found that CEOs expected the U.S. to post 2.5 percent GDP growth this year—a 0.3 percent decrease from last quarter.

CEO expectations for investment and sales over the next 6 months fell about 10 points on the survey. The employment outlook, meanwhile, decreased 8.9 points.

"Of particular concern is the downward movement of our CEOs' investment plans. Business investment is a key driver of economic expansion and job growth," Randall Stephenson, Chairman of Business Roundtable and Chairman and CEO of AT&T, said in a news release from the group.

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