U.S. CEO Confidence Stays Aloft, According to YPO Survey

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DALLAS, May 1, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The YPO Global Pulse Confidence Index for the United States stayed aloft in the first quarter, edging up 0.2 point to 63.7, making it the world's most optimistic region for the first time in the five-year history of the survey. The slight increase followed a jump of 3.0 points in the fourth quarter of 2013.

A graph accompanying this release is available at http://media.globenewswire.com/cache/31021/file/26049.pdf.

"The expectations for growth reported at the start of the year were reinforced in the most recent survey," said Alan Zafran, managing director First Republic Investment Management and a member of YPO's Global One Chapter. "Survey respondents maintained their upbeat attitude despite a brutal winter that produced potentially worrisome economic news. Their outlook was validated by a rebound in sales, production and employment data in March and early April."

Globally, low interest rates and continued recovery in developed markets in the first quarter of 2014 sustained CEO optimism. The YPO Global Pulse Confidence Index inched down half a point to 62.5. Confidence downturns in pockets of the emerging world contributed to the slight decline.

Key findings in the United States

CEOs optimistic about sales, employment and fixed investment: Rosier forecasts about sales, hiring and capital spending all contributed to the rise in business confidence. The indices tracking these categories are all at their second-highest level in the five-year series. Two-thirds (67%) of CEOs surveyed said they expected sales to increase by at least 10% over the next 12 months, and almost half (46%) said they planned to step up capital spending.

Employment expected to grow: The YPO Global Pulse Employment Confidence Index for the United States inched up 0.7 point to 60.6, its highest level in two years. Only 3% of CEOs surveyed planned to lay off workers while 41% intended to increase headcounts by 10% or more over the coming quarters.

Stephen Slifer, YPO Global Pulse economic adviser and chief economist at NumberNomics, said, "Business sentiment remains sanguine as evidenced by the U.S. YPO Global Pulse Index. The relatively robust employment outlook suggests we can expect employment to continue to climb in the second quarter."

YPO Global Pulse Confidence Index

The quarterly electronic survey, conducted in the first two weeks of April, gathered answers from 1,996 chief executive officers across the globe, including 970 in the United States. Visit www.ypo.org/globalpulse for more information about the survey methodology and results from around the world.

About YPO

YPO (Young Presidents' Organization) is a not-for-profit, global network of young chief executives connected around the shared mission of becoming Better Leaders Through Education and Idea ExchangeTM. Founded in 1950, YPO today provides 20,000 peers and their families in more than 120 countries with access to unique experiences, world-class resources, alliances with top learning institutions, and specialized networks that help them enhance their business, community and personal leadership. Altogether, YPO member-run companies employ more than 15 million people around the world and generate US$6 trillion in annual revenues. For more information, visit www.ypo.org. Also see us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

See this news release online at: http://www.ypo.org/news-media/press-releases/

CONTACT: YPO (Young Presidents' Organization) Michele Foster +33.9.7044.0704 (Europe) press@ypo.org Fahlgren Mortine Patrick Gallagher Office: + Mobile: + pat.gallagher@fahlgren.com

Source:Young Presidents' Organization, Inc.