AP News

Ahead of the Bell: Business Roundtable's survey

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Business Roundtable on Wednesday will issue the results of its quarterly survey of U.S. chief executives.

The report will show, among other things, the proportion of large companies that plan to hire or boost spending in the next six months.

The Business Roundtable represents CEOs of the 200 largest U.S. corporations. It will release the report at 11 a.m. EDT.

The previous survey in June showed that fewer large companies planned to hire or step up spending over the next six months than had said so three months earlier.

Thirty-six percent of the CEOs said in June that they planned to add workers over the next six months. That was down from 42 percent when the survey was taken in March.

About 43 percent said they planned to increase spending on machinery, computers and other large goods, down from 48 percent. But most CEOs still expected sales to increase in the next six months.

Overall, the CEO Outlook survey index fell to 89.1, down from 96.9 in March. Any reading above 50 indicates growth.

The weaker survey results in June reflected a slower U.S. economy in the spring. Job growth averaged only 73,000 in April and May, after average gains of 226,000 a month in the first three months of the year.

Since then, job growth has increased slightly, the housing market has strengthened, stock prices have risen and the Federal Reserve has said it plans to keep borrowing costs low even longer than previously thought.

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