Business leaders expect drop in economic growth

Business leaders expect drop in economic growth
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Following a tumultuous few months, executives from top U.S. companies are expecting a moderate 2.3 percent growth rate in 2019, down from their previous expectation of 2.6 percent, according to a new survey.

“This quarter’s survey shows American businesses now have their foot poised above the brake, and they're tapping the brake periodically," said Business Roundtable President Joshua Bolten, referring to the organization's most recent outlook.

"Uncertainty is preventing the full potential of the economy from being unleashed, limiting growth and investment here in the U.S.," he added.

The survey of CEOs found lower economic expectations across the board.

The overall CEO economic index, a composite assessing views on the economy, fell 10.3 points from the previous quarter to the below-average level of 79.2. The survey also found a drop in CEOs' plans for capital investment, sales and hiring. Of the three, only hiring plans remained above the historical average.

One of the main drivers of the uncertainty was an increase in trade tensions with China. The survey found that more than half of CEOs reported that the trade war between Washington and Beijing impacted their sales negatively, and one-third said it had negatively affected hiring.

In the manufacturing sector, 40 percent of CEOs said the trade war was hurting their capital expenditures.

The survey of 138 CEOs of major companies was conducted between Aug. 23 and Sept. 9.