Private company optimism skyrockets


ChartPwC has released its latest barometer of sentiment among the CEO/CFO ranks at major private companies. 21% of them expressed optimism about the US economy during the ensuing 12 months in the Q4 2011 edition of its report. This time, the result is 60%.

It does not require a degree in rocket science, ladies and gentlemen, to label this as a genuine major increase in positive sentiment.

Only 8% said they were pessimistic, and 32% were uncertain.

One thing is for sure, confidence in the US economy is far greater than it is for the global economy, where uncertainty carried the day. 61% expressed uncertainty, as a matter of fact, but among those with a formed opinion, the optimists defeated the pessimists by a 29%-10% martin.

“Trendsetter executives’ confidence in the US economy has returned to nearly the same level it was a year ago, and pessimism levels keep dropping, indicating private companies’ belief that the economy continues to recover, if at a slow pace,” said PwC’s Ken Esch.

“Last year, we saw confidence plummet to 27% on the heels of policymaking gridlock and the S&P’s downgrade of the US debt rating,” Esch noted. “While we don’t anticipate a repeat of last year, these are still volatile times, and so optimism about the US economy may continue to fluctuate. On the other hand, optimism about the world economy has seen no dramatic movement among Trendsetter executives over the last several quarters, reflecting the Eurozone’s difficulties of the past year. With the political uncertainty around austerity measures and the recent announcement that Spain and the UK are officially in a double-dip recession, Trendsetter optimism about the world economy might stay at its current level for the time being.”

90% of the execs expect positive growth for their own company over the next 12 months, with the average anticipated gain weighing in at 9.5%. 59% anticipate bringing in more staff against only 3% expecting lay-offs. However, PwC does not think the employment gains will be major.

RBR-TVBR observation: This report supports a trend we’ve been witnessing – consumer sentiment hitting a plateau, corporate sentiment on the upswing. We would rather hang our hat on the superior access to information and informed insight of execs than consumers, thank you very much!