CEO Outlook: Will the Economy Improve in 2014?

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Although the recession technically ended more than four years ago, the U.S. economy is still struggling to make a convincing recovery from the financial crisis. The unemployment rate remains stubbornly high, while companies continue to reduce expenses and capital expenditures. However, the latest sentiment report from chief executive officers predicts an uptick in economic activity over the next six months.

The Business Roundtable, which is an association of chief executive officers of leading U.S. companies, recently published its fourth-quarter CEO Economic Outlook Survey. The survey was completed between November 4 and November 21, and provides a forward-looking view on the economy.

As the chart above shows, the economic index for the survey rose to 84.5 in the current quarter, compared to only 79.1 in the prior quarter. That is the best reading in over a year and well above the current long-term average of about 79.4.

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