CEOs See U.S. Economy Growing At Modest Pace

Group sees 2.6% growth rate.

Leading U.S. chief executives see steady growth in the economy though 2007 underpinned by strong consumer spending, a survey showed June 5. The Business Roundtable's second quarter 2007 CEO Economic Outlook Survey shows that leaders are now assuming 2.6% growth in 2007, slightly more than the consensus of private economists of 2% to 2.5%.

The CEO economic outlook index, which indicates how the top executives believe the economy will perform in the six months ahead, dipped slightly to 81.9 from 84.9 in the first quarter. Anything over 50 suggests expansion.

"While the survey does suggest that the economy is settling into a somewhat softer consolidation phase, as long as consumers keep spending, the economy can continue to move ahead." said Harold McGraw, chairman of Business Roundtable and of The McGraw-Hill Companies.

The survey found 66% of CEOs projected higher sales ahead against only 7% calling for a decline. Thirty-four percent expected higher capital spending while 14% saw a decline.

Also, 42% said they expected to hire more workers in the next six months while 25% expected to cut positions.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2007

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