The Economy – Americans Feeling Better, CEOs Feeling Gloomy

Jan 30th 2012
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By AccountingWEB Staff

Is the economy getting better or worse? Well, it depends on who you ask. Two recent polls show that Americans are beginning to feel a bit better about the economy, while CEOs are feeling gloomy.

For the first time in almost a year, more Americans are saying the economy is better (28 percent) than those who say it's getting worse (23 percent), according to a CBS News/New York Times poll of 1,154 adults. Since October, the percentage of Americans who say the economy is getting better has increased 14 percentage points. Poll analysts say the increase in optimism may be related to the drop in the unemployment rate, combined with recent positive economic news. For example, jobless claims dropped, inflation has been trending lower, and global stocks have been gaining ground over the last few weeks.

Before this poll, the last time Americans had a net positive outlook on the economy was last February. They're not exactly upbeat as a whole, however. Four out of five American say the economy is bad.

CEOs aren't too pleased either. According to a new annual survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers, nearly half of 1,258 CEOs polled think the global economy will sink in the next year. Only 15 percent think it will improve.

The poll shows that while the global economy as a whole may not be inspiring confidence, CEOs are saying their own businesses should grow. In fact, CEOs are nearly three times more confident in their own company's growth prospects than they are in the growth of the global economy.

"The optimism that had been building cautiously since 2008 has begun to recede", said Dennis Nally, Chairman of PwC International Ltd., in a statement. "The ongoing debt crisis in the European Union, along with other lingering economic uncertainties, has deflated confidence in business growth around the world." The biggest decline in confidence was in Western Europe. In the United States, CEOs are showing "measured optimism", the survey says, with 60 percent planning to hire this year.

Read more about the PwC survey and the CBS News/New York Times poll

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