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The Conference Board's measure of CEO confidence was virtually unchanged in the third quarter from the second. Its third-quarter reading was up only one point to 40 from the second-quarter reading of 39. Readings of more than 50 points indicate more positive than negative responses in a survey of 100 business leaders.
"CEO confidence remains quite negative, and continues to hover at levels associated with recession," said Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board consumer research center. "While these results do not reflect the full impact of the financial crisis that began in mid-September, there is little doubt that the pessimism expressed before these events will worsen in the near-term."