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CEO Confidence Plunges In August

Concerns mounted amid growing trade worries, slowdown fears

CEO confidence in future business conditions fell 6 percent in August from July, according to Chief Executive’s most recent polling. At 6.2 out of 10 on our 1-10 scale, confidence is at its lowest level since October 2016, the last time CEOs reported their outlook as “weak.”

Confidence in current conditions also continued to slide, falling another 2 percent in August to 6.8/10. On the heels of another batch of tariffs, 62 percent of CEOs say the trade war is becoming highly detrimental to their outlook and strategy.

“It’s hard to predict where we’re headed with the China trade war,” says the CEO of a mid-sized wholesale company who is forecasting a weak 2020 business climate, with a rating of 5/10 on our scale. “It appears that we may be headed down a road that will not be resolved prior to the 2020 election, and I, therefore, believe that economic conditions could worsen.”

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