Business Roundtable survey shows cautious optimism on the economy

According to the survey, more CEOs planned to increase capital expenditures over the next six months in the first quarter of the year than in the second quarter, 47 percent versus 43 percent, respectfully. 

But more CEOs expect sales and hiring to increase over the next six months in the survey taken during the second quarter than in the first.

The Business Roundtable survey comes on the same day that the American Institute of Architects released sobering news about its industry. 

Its Architecture Billings Index fell back after three months of improved conditions because of tight credit availability. 

The index fell nearly three points, and is a leading economic indicator for future construction activity. 

"The overriding issue affecting the entire real estate sector is unusual caution on the part of lending institutions to provide credit for construction projects," said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker in prepared remarks.

Baker urged the Senate to take up the small-business bill that the House recently passed, which affords better loan opportunities to businesses.

"If this passes in the Senate then some much needed relief will be available for the struggling design and construction industry," Baker said.

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