The Vistage CEO Confidence Index for Q4 2012 has plummeted by nearly 13 points from Q4 2011, falling from 98.8 to 87 over the past year. The lowered confidence and stifled optimism are largely due to the continuing economic slowdown with only modest predictions of growth and economic improvement. Nearly half of surveyed CEOs expressed uncertainty in both the economic and political landscapes and identified the issues as the most significant business concerns now being faced in the economy.
Approximately 25 percent of CEOs said the effects of the narrowly averted fiscal cliff and ongoing Congressional gridlock has led to reduced investments and hiring. Respondents reported to anticipating slow growth due to raised taxes on the wealthy and further regulatory actions by the federal government, in addition to concerns over the federal deficit and debt ratings. Rafael Pastor, CEO of Vistage, commented, “The inability of Washington’s political leaders to work together will only fuel continued uncertainty. Yet again, small business leaders are left to wonder if they’ll receive any longer-term certainty from the President and the Congress about the key factors that help drive increased consumer spending, investment, productivity, and job growth.”