Among voters, the race for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination may be anyone's game. But a key group of business leaders is pretty clear about who they think will come out on top, according to the latest CNBC Global CFO Council survey.
The CFO Council represents some of the largest public and private companies in the world and collectively manages more than $2 trillion in market capitalization across a wide variety of sectors. Of the 34 council members, 19 (or 56 percent) of the council responded to this quarter's survey.
More than 72 percent of members of the council surveyed earlier this month say Jeb Bush will in fact win the Republican nomination. Respondents were asked to choose who they think will garner the nomination, not who they would vote for.
Wisconsin governor Scott Walker came a distant second, with 11 percent saying he will win. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Senator Marco Rubio of Florida each received about 5 percent of responses. Ten other candidates received zero percent.
Over the first half of 2015, council members have dramatically shifted their expectations on when the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates. Today, 47 percent of council members say the first rate hike will come in September. This represents a major change from December 2014, when only 5 percent expected a September rate hike and 43 percent expected the increase to come in April or June.
This pairs appropriately with the council's changed outlook on the U.S. economy. Today, only 5.3 percent of CFOs say the economy is strongly improving, down from 25 percent in February. A total of 58 percent say the economy is modestly improving, also down from February.
The number of respondents who say the economy is stable jumped to 31.6 percent in June from 10 percent in February, and the number saying the economy is in modest decline rose from zero percent in February to 5.3 percent in June.