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CEO confidence increased further in the first quarter of 2012 after rising in the fourth quarter of last year, The Conference Board reported Tuesday. The organization’s measure of CEO confidence rose to a reading of 63 in the first quarter of 2012 from a reading of 49 in the fourth quarter. A reading of more than 50 points reflects more positive than negative responses.
“CEOs’ confidence has rebounded from rather dismal readings in the latter half of 2011," said Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center. “Looking ahead, chief executives are optimistic about growth prospects, with about the same percentage as last year expecting to hire new workers.”
Sixty-seven percent of CEOs said conditions have improved compared to six months ago, up from just 17 percent last quarter, according to a survey that accompanied the measure. Fifty-nine percent of CEOs anticipate an improvement in economic conditions over the next six months, up from 32 percent in the fourth quarter.