CEOs Predict Employment Drop but Steady Sales, Investments

Business Roundtable survey estimates GDP growth of 1.3%.

The Business Roundtable CEO Economic Outlook Index, which reflects sales, capital expenditures and employment figures for the next six months, declined to 74.5 in the second quarter of 2008, down from 79.5 in the first quarter, according to results released June 18. Most leaders of America's top companies still expect sales and capital expenditures to either increase or remain unchanged over the next six months, but more now anticipate a drop in future employment, according to the survey.

"Our CEOs clearly have tempered their overall expectations against a backdrop of continued housing declines and mounting energy prices. That said, CEOs remain cautiously optimistic about their sales and spending projections," said Harold McGraw III, chairman of Business Roundtable and CEO of The McGraw-Hill Companies.

On overall U.S. economic growth, member CEOs estimate that GDP growth will be 1.3%; down from the 1.5% GDP growth assumed last quarter.

Business Roundtable is an association of chief executive officers of leading corporations, representing a combined workforce of nearly 10 million employees and $4.5 trillion in annual revenues.

Results of all surveys can be found at www.businessroundtable.org/ceosurvey.

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