"We've got to see the consumer come back and we're starting to see some signs that we're at least getting toward the bottom if not at the bottom, Castellani said on CNBC's Power Lunch. "So, there's some hope that in the fourth quarter of this year we'll start to see the economy turn around. It'll be negative, obviously, in the first and second quarter, maybe flatten out in the third quarter, but there's projection that the fourth quarter we'll see a turnaround."
Business Roundtable member CEOs surveyd estimated that real GDP will decline by 1.9 percent in 2009, down from the CEOs’ zero percent estimate in the fourth quarter of 2008.
"This is a consumer driven economy both here and abroad, and the consumer right now isn't spending, so our CEOs are reflecting that in terms of their plans for capital expenditures, employment and sales," Castellani said. "That's why this index is at minus five for the first time since doing it."
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