The decline in confidence across the globe is influencing key decisions at corporations, from hiring to spending, but major declines are not yet being seen.
The employment index dipped 1.9 points to 59.0, but that remains only a point below the highest reading for this business cycle. And with the exception of Latin America, employment prospects around the globe remain a relative bright spot.
The investment outlook dropped 2.5 points to 58.6, but that still suggests investment opportunities are being considered, Slifer said.
Among sectors, sentiment declined slightly in construction, but the bulk of the dip was from firms in manufacturing and services. The declining confidence was equal across large, medium and small firms.
Looking out 12 months, CEOs remain optimistic about growth potential for their businesses, with the sales index falling 2.6 points, but still at a highly positive reading of 65.3.
Survey methodology: The latest quarterly YPO Global Pulse Index survey was conducted during the first two weeks of October, gathering answers from 1,899 chief executive officers across the globe, including 797 in the U.S. Globally, 27 percent of participants are from large companies (more than 500 employees), 39 percent from medium-sized companies (100–500 employees) and 34 percent from small companies (less than 100 employees). By business sector, 25 percent of participants are from the production sector, 10 percent from construction and 65 percent from the services sector.
CNBC and YPO (Young Presidents' Organization) have formed an exclusive editorial partnership consisting of regional "Chief Executive Networks" in the Americas, EMEA and Asia-Pacific. These Chief Executives Networks are made up of a sample of YPO's global network of 20,000 top executives from 120 countries who are on the frontlines of the economy and run companies that collectively generate $6 trillion in annual revenues.