The U.S. economy is back on track in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, according to the Business Roundtable’s Q2 2021 CEO Economic Outlook Survey. Plans for hiring have risen to historically high levels and CEOs project 5% growth for the year, which is 1.3 percentage points higher than their estimate last quarter.
The Business Roundtable CEO Economic Outlook survey provides a picture of the future direction of the U.S. economy. It has been conducted quarterly since the fourth quarter of 2002, and asks CEOs to report their company’s expectations for sales and plans for capital spending and hiring for the upcoming six months.
According to the survey, 75% of CEOS say conditions for their companies have already recovered or that they will recover to pre-COVID-19 levels by the end of the year. All three subindices in the survey increased as well, which include plans for hiring, plans for capital investment, and expectations for sales.
On the other hand, some industries continue to face challenges related to COVID-19. The survey indicates that 25% of CEOs don’t expect business conditions to recover to pre-COVID-19 levels until 2022 or later. However, this number is down from 27% in the previous quarter.
Business Roundtable Chairman Doug McMillon, President and CEO of Walmart, sees the results as a sign that things are looking up. “CEO optimism near historic highs, particularly with record hiring plans, is a strong sign that we are climbing out of this unprecedented crisis,” he said. He also noted that American innovation coupled with an extremely successful vaccine rollout in the U.S. can ensure a continued safe reopening of the economy.
Business Roundtable President and CEO Joshua Bolten said that CEO optimism is “welcome news,” adding that this growth can be sustained by passing a bipartisan bill that would upgrade the nation’s infrastructure. He also suggested forgoing tax increases on U.S. job creators that could hinder America’s economic recovery.