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CEO confidence improved in the fourth quarter following declines in the second and third quarters, according to The Conference Board’s measure of CEO confidence. The measure rose to a reading of 46 in the fourth quarter from a reading of 42 in the third quarter. A reading of more than 50 points reflects more positive than negative responses.
“CEO Confidence improved in the final quarter of 2012, despite the cloud of fiscal uncertainty,” said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at The Conference Board. “However, CEO sentiment remains pessimistic by historical standards.”
Fifteen percent of CEOs said conditions have improved compared to six months ago, up from 9 percent who said the same in the third quarter, according to a survey that accompanied the measure. Additionally, 23 percent of CEOs anticipate an improvement in economic conditions over the next six months, up from 12 percent who said the same last quarter.