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CEO confidence, which fell in the second quarter after a first-quarter increase, declined again in the third quarter, The Conference Board reported. The organization’s measure of CEO confidence fell to a reading of 42 in the third quarter of 2012 from a reading of 47 in the first quarter. A reading of more than 50 points reflects more positive than negative responses.
“This latest report reflects ongoing concern about the strength of the economy. CEOs’ assessment of current conditions remains weak and they have grown increasingly pessimistic about the short-term outlook,” said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at The Conference Board. “Sluggish growth and a persistent cloud of uncertainty have played a role in CEOs curtailing spending plans this year.”
Only 9 percent of CEOs said conditions have improved compared to six months ago, down from 17 percent who said the same in the second quarter, according to a survey that accompanied the measure. Only 12 percent of CEOs anticipate an improvement in economic conditions over the next six months, down from 20 percent who said the same last quarter.