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Transcript of CEO Survey Release

Transcript of CEO Survey Release

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Published by: Business Roundtable on Jun 20, 2012
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06/20/2012

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BUSINESS ROUNDTABLEModerator: Jim McNerneyJune 20, 201210:00 am CT
Coordinator: Ladies and gentlemen thank you for joining Business Roundtable’s Briefingon its Second Quarter 2012 CEO Economic Outlook Survey.The members of Business Roundtable are Chief Executive Officers of theNation’s leading companies. Collectively, they represent more than 14 millionemployees, over $6 trillion in annual revenues, and generate $420 billion insales for small and medium sized businesses annually. Conducted quarterlysince the first quarter of 200, Business Roundtable’s CEO Economic Survey isa leading CEO-based survey of sales, capital spending, and employmentprojected over the next six months.This quarter’s survey was completed between May 17 and June 8, 164 CEOscompleted the Survey, which is 78% of the total BRT’s membership. You canfind an interactive chart illustrating these results, results from previousquarters, and comparisons with key economic metrics, such as GDP andemployment atwww.BRT.org/CEO_Survey. Before I turn the call over to your host, please note that all telephoneparticipants are in listen-only mode at this time. Later we will conduct aquestion-and-answer session where you will be given the opportunity to ask questions about the CEO Economic Outlook Survey. If you should requireassistance during your call, please press star 0. Today’s conference is beingrecorded. If you have any objections you may disconnect at this time.
 
 
With that I will now turn things over to your host, Mr. Jim McNerney,Chairman, President, and CEO of the Boeing Company, and the Chairman of Business Roundtable. Also joining Mr. McNerney is Governor Engler,President of Business Roundtable. Mr. McNerney?Jim McNerney: Hello, everyone, and thank you again for joining us for the release of BusinessRoundtable’s Second Quarter 2012 CEO Economic Outlook Survey.In this quarter’s survey, CEO’s expectations for sales, capital expenditures,and hiring over the next six months softened from last quarter. Whileexpectations are for a continued slow expansion, the results reflect memberCEOs continuing concern over obstacles to a stronger economic recovery.Chief among those concerns is growing uncertainty, whether theAdministration and Congress can resolve the so-called fiscal cliff issues of expiring tax rates, debt ceiling, and budget sequestration, failure to resolvethese tax and spending questions, along with continuing concern about theEurozone and questions about economic growth in Asia certainly act as a dragon potential economic growth and business expansion in the U.S.Now, let’s move to the Survey Results.Taking a look at the data and what our members are projecting over the nextsix months we found that on sales 75% of member CEOs anticipate sales willincrease in the next six months, which is down six points from last quarter;20% expect sales to remain the same, up from 16% last quarter, and 6% of CEOs expect sales to decline, a rise from 3% in the fourth quarter of 2011. Oncapital spending 435 of member CEOs project higher spending in the next sixmonths, which is lower from 48% last quarter; 45% expect spending to remain
 
 
the same, up from 41% last quarter, and 12% project a decline, which isessentially flat from last quarter’s 11%.On the third topic of employment, 36% of member CEOs expect to add U.S.employees, which is down six points from 42% last quarter; 44% expectemployment to remain steady, which is about the same as last quarter at 43%,and 20% project lower employment, up slightly from 16% in the first quarterof 2012.Each quarter, as many of you recall, we combine the three categories, sales,CapEx, and employment into an index to provide a quick snapshot of anticipated economic conditions for the next six months. As I mentioned, thisquarter’s CEO Economic Outlook Survey Index reflects a slight downturn inexpectations, falling from an Index of 96.9 in the first quarter of 2012 to 89.1for the second quarter. I want to remind you though that our Index is acomposite diffusion index centered on 50 and results can range from negative50 to positive 150. An Index reading lower than 50 is consistent with overalleconomic contraction, while a reading above 50, which is still where we are isconsistent with expansion.In closing, CEO’s overall expectations are down slightly in each of ourmeasures; sales, investment, and employment. The past quarter has seencontinuing concerns about Europe’s sovereign debt issues, as well ascontinued political wrangling in D.C. that is holding up much needed tax andfiscal reforms that would provide greater certainty to business, reassure themarkets, and enhance U.S. economic growth.With that said, I’d be happy with John as my sidekick to take your questionsnow.

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