CEOs expect more sales but no change in jobs

CEOs for the biggest U.S. firms expect sales and capital spending to increase but employment level to stay the same in the next six months.

Roughly three quarters of executives surveyed by the Business Roundtable, the association of CEOs for large firms, said their sales would increase. Just 5 percent said sales would decrease and 23 percent said there would be no change.

A plurality of executives -- 47 percent -- said their firms' capital expenditures would increase in coming months, and 46 percent said there would be no change. Another 7 percent thought capital spending would go down.

When asked about their companies' employment levels, 50 percent of CEOs said they wouldn't change in the next six months, 29 percent forecast an increase and 21 percent thought they would decrease.

Compared to the Roundtable's survey last quarter, slightly more CEOs believed increases in all three categories were coming.

“As the economy recovers and demand returns, we are seeing across-the-board increases in sales, resulting in increased capital expenditures, less job reduction and some employment stabilization,” said Ivan G. Seidenberg, the Roundtable's chairman and the CEO and Chairman of Verizon Communications.“This survey shows each category of economic measurement moving in the right direction.”