CEOs Report Few Asian Flu Symptoms

A semi-annual survey of The Business Council's members shows CEOs of America's largest corporations view the Asian crisis as only a minor problem for U.S. businesses. The Washington-based organization's survey found that 47% of the 101 CEO respondents expect significantly lower sales in Asia this year compared with 1997. Just more than half of the CEOs said their companies are benefiting a little from lower dollar costs of commodities and imported components. About half reported no pressure on their pricing and profit margins; 35% reported minor pressure and 16% significant pressure. About 34% of the CEOs expect the impact of the Asian crisis to intensify as the year goes on, 30% expect it to ease, and 36% find it "hard to tell." Questioned about their companies' overall business compared with three to six months ago, 57% said it was about the same, 23% said it was weaker, and 19% said it was stronger.

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