CEOs More Optimistic About Economy: Survey

Confidence about the economy over the next six months is rising among CEOs worldwide, with nearly half of US-based executives expressing optimism, according to quarterly survey by the Young Presidents' Organization (YPO).

Globally, sentiment mirrors that of American business leaders, with nearly half of the 2,000 CEOs surveyed expecting economic conditions to improve and only 12 percent expecting them to worsen. That's an improvement over last quarter's performance, in which 46 percent said the economy had improved, while 18 percent said it had deteriorated.

More than one in three firms plan to hire over the next year. This number represents an upswing from one in four reported during the last quarter.

"Small firms appear to be more intent on boosting employment than do their larger counterparts," according to the YPO survey. "Even the beleaguered construction industry expects to add workers in the upcoming 12-month period."

The most optimistic outlook is in sales. "When asked about sales 12 months from now," the survey reported, "survey respondents were almost uniformly optimistic, as almost 60 percent of respondents expected sales to climb." Again, "even firms in the construction industry anticipated a pick-up in sales."