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Greater Expectations


Industries: Business Week/Harris Executive Poll

GREATER EXPECTATIONS

Survey of 401 senior executives drawn from the BUSINESS WEEK 1000. Interviews were conducted June 1-10, 1994, for BUSINESS WEEK by Louis Harris & Associates Inc. Prior poll was of 402 senior executives of the BUSINESS WEEK 1000, conducted on Dec. 10-20, 1993.First, some questions about the economy.

THE ECONOMY: GUARDED OPTIMISM

Overall, how would you 6/94 12/93

characterize your outlook for Very optimistic 8% 3%

the U.S. economy in the next Somewhat optimistic 82% 80%

12 months--would you say Somewhat pessimistic 9% 16%

you are very optimistic, some- Very pessimistic 1% 1%

what optimistic, somewhat Not sure 0% 0%

pessimistic, or very pessimistic?

GDP: GROWING UP

Compared with the last 12 months, 6/94 12/93

do you think the rate of growth Go up 44% 25%

of the gross domestic product will Go down 18% 9%

go up, go down, or stay the same Stay the same 38% 65%

over the next 12 months? Not sure 0% 1%

INFLATION: NOSING HIGHER

Compared with the last 12 6/94 12/93

months, do you think the rate of Go up 50% 40%

inflation, based on the CPI, will Go down 3% 5%

go up, go down, er stay the Stay the same 47% 55%

same over the next 12 months? Not sure 0% 0%

TREASURY RATES: STILL RISING

Compared with where it is right 6/94 12/93

now, do you think the 30-year Go up 52% 67%

Treasury rate will go up, go down, Go down 18% 5%

or stay the same over the next Stay the same 26% 27%

12 months? Not sure 4% 1%

JOBLESSNESS: SLIGHT IMPROVEMENT

Compared with the last 12 6/94 12/93

months, do you think the Go up 13% 21%

unemployment rate will go Go down 43% 34%

up, go down, or stay the same Stay the same 44% 44%

over the next 12 months? Not sure 0% 1%

YOUR COMPANY

And now some questions about your expectations for your company over the next 12 months. Please give your best estimate.

Do you think each of the following will increase or decrease between now and June, 1995?

Increase Decrease Same Not

6/94 sure

Sales 91% 5% 3% 1%

Full-time employees 47% 27% 25% 1%

Investment in plant and equipment 69% 10% 17% 4%

Typical prices of standard products

or services 58% 13% 28% 1%

Exports 57% 4% 8% 31%

Wages and salary rates 85% 2% 13% 0%

Health-care costs per employee 70% 14% 15% 1%

Investment in research & development 54% 12% 26% 8%

PROFITS, PROFITS, EVERYWHERE...

6/94

Did your company make a Yes 94%

profit in 1993, or not? No 6%

Not sure 0%

...AND MORE TO COME

6/94

[If yes,] do you think your Increase 83%

profits will increase or decrease Decrease 9%

in 1994 compared with Same 5%

1993 profits? Not Sure 3%

HEALTH-CARE REFORM: THUMBS DOWN

If, as a result of health-care reform, all employers except the smallest are required to provide health insurance for their full-time employees, would that:

Would Would No Not

6/94 not change sure

Be better for your company than

the system we have now, or not? 13% 69% 11% 7%

Help your company control its

health-care costs, or not? 14% 73% 5% 8%

Discourage your company from

hiring new employees, or not? 30% 62% 3% 5%

Act as a net drag on the

U.S. economy, or not? 79% 16% 0% 5%

FOREIGN SALES: EVEN BETTER

6/94 12/93

Over the next 12 months, do Higher 55% 49%

you think that your foreign Lower 8% 7%

sales will be a higher or lower Same 10% 13%

percentage of your total sales, No overseas

compared with the past 12 sales 26% 28%

months? Not sure 1% 3%

GREENSPAN'S GRADE: B+

6/94

How would you rate the job Excellent 16%

Alan Greenspan and the Federal Pretty good 58%

Reserve are doing--excellent, pretty Only fair 24%

good, only fair, or poor? Poor 2%

Not sure 0%

FED POLICY: OVERWHELMING SUPPORT

As you might know, since the first 6/94

of the year the Federal Reserve Too aggressive 31%

Board has acted to raise interest Not aggressive enough 4%

rates four times. Do you think the About right 65%

Federal Reserve's interest-rate policy Not sure 0%

has been too aggressive, not

aggressive enough, or about right?

Edited by Mark N. Vamos and Michele Galen


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