Chicago — September 23, 2009 — The Business Optimism Index, Grant Thornton's quarterly confidence measure of U.S. business leaders, increased again to 60.9 in August 2009 from 54.5 in May, with 58 percent of respondents to the latest survey saying they believe that the economy will come out of recession by the first half of 2010, but only 26 percent plan to increase hiring.
The latest survey was conducted August 10 -21. More than 360 senior executives from various industries responded to the survey.
Grant Thornton found that U.S. business leaders' sentiments toward the U.S. economy are still on the rise, with 58 percent of the respondents expecting conditions to improve over the next six months, up from 45 percent in May 2009. They are also more positive about the outlook for their own businesses, with 73 percent feeling optimistic about their companies' growth over the next six months.
The Business Optimism Index, a quarterly survey of U.S. business leaders, comprises three measures:
- U.S. economy: Business leaders' perceptions of whether the U.S. economy will improve, remain the same or deteriorate in the next six months.
- Business growth: Business leaders' perceptions about the growth of their own businesses over the next six months.
- Hiring expectations: Whether business leaders expect the number of people their companies employ to increase, remain the same or decrease in the next six months.
OVERALL Business Optimism Index
Believe U.S. economy will improve
Believe U.S. economy will worsen
Very or somewhat optimistic about own business
Very or somewhat pessimistic about own business
Plan to increase staff
Plan to decrease staff