The chief executive officers of the biggest companies in the United States aren't exactly jumping for joy at the performance of the economy this year, but many of them are confident that the recent improvements will continue and that firms will seek to hire more through 2015.
Growth and hiring aren't exactly at breakneck paces, but moving ahead nonetheless
The Business Roundtable's first-quarter survey, released earlier this month, says much about CEOs' outlooks for the rest of the year. The studies results show that projections for gross domestic product are fairly positive, with the respondents' latest indications marking both an improvement over last year's GDP expansion and CEOs' recorded outlook in December. The modest 2.8 percent GDP growth predicted by the CEOs marks what they believe will be a modest improvement in the economy over the next three-quarters, which would lend itself well to hiring. The job market won't be hot, but it won't freeze-over either.
"The job market won't be hot, but it won't freeze either."
Of the CEOs surveyed by Business Roundtable, 40 percent indicated that they do intend to hire over the course of the year, and a major reason for this is that they foresee some improvement in the economy. Though a massive wave of job openings isn't expected soon, the job market is expected to put up positive numbers over the course of the next few quarters as the GDP expands. What would help U.S. hiring even more is expanded trade opportunities, the survey of CEOs indicated. This is good news for job seekers, with the U.S. in the midst of finalizing deals such as the Transpacific Trade partnership. Trade legislation such as this should be a boon for internationally-driven top finance jobs.
Economic numbers for end of 2014 tempered down somewhat
Overall, the respondents' view of how the next year will play out seems fairly positive. The Business Roundtable CEO Economic Outlook Index, a composite of several different factors, indicates CEOs' outlooks on sales, capital spending and employment. The latest iteration of the index came in at 90.8, up from 85.1 in the final quarter of 2014.
The Commerce Department revised down economic numbers for the fourth quarter of 2014, a sign that the hot streak of growth cooled off a bit during the latter three months of the year, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. Though growth at the breakneck pace seen at times through last year isn't exactly sustainable, economic expansion in general, however slow, will be, which means that hiring should continue steadily for sometime, even if firms aren't packing their offices to the brim with new employees.