Businessweek Archives

Harris Poll: A Tough Year To Follow


Industry Outlook -- Introduction

Harris Poll: A TOUGH YEAR TO FOLLOW

Executives at America's largest public companies see the economy cooling a bit in the coming year. They're a tad less optimistic than they were this time last year. Fewer expect growth in gross domestic product to pick up in 1996, and the number anticipating rising unemployment has doubled. But managers cheer the Fed: Their inflation fears have all but vanished, and few worry about rising interest rates. A remarkable 91% give Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan high marks, compared with the 26% who applaud Clinton's handling of the economy.

Survey of 401 senior executives drawn from the BUSINESS WEEK 1000. Interviews were conducted for BUSINESS WEEK Nov. 30-Dec. 15, 1995 by Louis Harris & Associates Inc. Previous surveys cited were of 400 senior executives on Nov. 28-Dec. 5, 1994 and of 402 senior executives Dec. 10-20, 1993.

Optimistic Voices

Overall, how would you characterize your outlook for the U.S. economy in the next 12 months--would you say you are very optimistic, somewhat optimistic, somewhat pessimistic, or very pessimistic?

1995 1994 1993

Very optimistic 8% 13% 3%

Somewhat optimistic 78% 76% 80%

Somewhat pessimistic 13% 11% 16%

Very pessimistic 0% 0% 1%

Not sure 1% 0% 0%

Growth Factor

Compared with the last 12 months, do you think the rate of growth of the gross domestic product will go up, go down, or stay the same over the next 12 months?

1995 1994 1993

Go up 30% 38% 25%

Go down 25% 26% 9%

Stay the same 45% 36% 65%

Not sure 0% 0% 1%

What About Inflation?

Compared with the last 12 months, do you think the rate of inflation, based on the CPI, will go up, go down, or stay the same over the next 12 months?

1995 1994 1993

Go up 12% 53% 40%

Go down 15% 6% 5%

Stay the same 73% 40% 55%

Not sure 0% 1% 0%

Tracking Treasuries

Compared with where it is right now, do you think the 30-year Treasury rate will go up, go down, or stay the same over the next 12 months?

1995 1994 1993

Go up 24% 57% 67%

Go down 47% 18% 5%

Stay the same 25% 24% 27%

Not sure 4% 1% 1%

The Jobless Rate

Compared with the last 12 months, do you think the unemployment rate will go up, go down, or stay the same over the next 12 months?

1995 1994 1993

Go up 35% 17% 21%

Go down 15% 33% 34%

Stay the same 49% 50% 44%

Not sure 1% 0% 1%

The Company Way

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 December, 1996?

INCREASE DECREASE SAME NOT SURE

Sales 89% 4% 5% 2%

Wage and salary rates 85% 3% 10% 2%

Investment in plant

and equipment 72% 12% 13% 3%

Health-care costs per

employee 59% 22% 17% 2%

Investment in research

& development 58% 14% 21% 7%

Exports 54% 3% 10% 33%

Full-time employees 45% 30% 23% 2%

Typical prices of standard

products or services 40% 21% 37% 2%

Prophesizing Profits

Do you think your company's profitability will improve, stay the same, or get worse in 1996?

Improve 79% Get worse 6%

Stay the same 13% Not sure 2%

Crazy For Alan...

How would you rate the job Alan Greenspan and the Federal Reserve are doing -- excellent, pretty good, only fair, or poor?

1995 1994

Excellent 40% 16%

Pretty good 51% 50%

Only fair 8% 29%

Poor 0% 5%

Not sure 1% 0%

...But Less So For Bill

How do you rate President Clinton's handling of the economy -- excellent, pretty good, only fair, or poor?

Excellent 1% Poor 18%

Pretty good 25% Not sure 1%

Only fair 55%Edited by Mark N. Vamos


Tim Cook's Reboot
LIMITED-TIME OFFER SUBSCRIBE NOW
 
blog comments powered by Disqus