YPO: U.S. CEO confidence rises for third straight quarter, nears five-year peak

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DALLAS, Aug. 5, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The YPO Global Pulse Confidence Index for the United States rose 1.1 points to 64.8 in the July quarterly survey, just short of its five-year peak of 65.1 registered in April 2012. This was the first time since April 2011 that the index recorded three consecutive quarters of rising confidence.


"The economy is on the upswing, and the expansion is becoming more broad-based," said Alan Zafran, managing director First Republic Investment Management and a member of YPO's Global One Chapter. "While there is ongoing discussion about the pace of growth, the direction seems clear. With the Federal Reserve's intention to keep interest rates low until at least the spring of 2015, there is a widespread recognition that the economy is poised for continued progress."

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Globally, the YPO Global Pulse Confidence Index rebounded from a half-point dip last quarter, increasing 1.5 points to 64.0. The rising tide was led by a 3.9-point run-up in Asia and a 4.4-point increase in Canada. With the exception of a marginal decline in Latin America, every region contributed to the global gain. Asia returned to its position as the world's most optimistic region.

Key findings

Optimism about sales hits new high; small companies most upbeat: The YPO Global Pulse Sales Confidence Index for the United States jumped 2.4 points to 71.4, its highest level in the history of the survey. Nearly three-quarters (73%) of CEOs surveyed said they expected a sales increase of at least 10% over the next 12 months. Small businesses were the most optimistic, with 77% of respondents expecting a sales increase. By comparison, 73% of medium-size companies and 62% of large companies said they expected to see higher sales.

U.S. hiring outlook continues to brighten, ranks highest the world: The YPO Global Pulse Employment Confidence Index for the United States climbed 1.1 points in July to 61.7, its highest level since the survey began in July 2009 and the highest among the nine reporting regions around the world; the global composite index landed at 60.2. Forty-five percent of U.S. CEOs surveyed said they expected to increase headcounts by at least 10% over the coming 12 months, up from 41% three months ago.

Stephen Slifer, YPO Global Pulse economic adviser and chief economist at NumberNomics, said, "Alongside the rapid improvement in the labor market, YPO CEOs' positive outlook is very encouraging. On the flip side, if their forecast is accurate, the declining employment rate would increase the likelihood of the Federal Reserve's raising interest rates sooner than expected. That possibility, however, did not negatively impact business confidence in July when the survey was taken."

YPO Global Pulse Confidence Index

The quarterly electronic survey, conducted in the first two weeks of July, gathered answers from 2,975 chief executive officers across the globe, including 1,448 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.

CONTACT: YPO (Young Presidents' Organization) Michele Foster +33 6 8494 9788 (Europe) press@ypo.org Fahlgren Mortine Patrick Gallagher Office: + Mobile: + pat.gallagher@fahlgren.com

Source:Young Presidents' Organization, Inc.