The Business Roundtable’s CEO Economic Outlook Index fell in the third quarter to the lowest since late 2016, the group said Wednesday.
More than half of CEOs said U.S. trade policy and retaliation from other countries had a negative effect on sales over the past year, while a third said it was having a similar impact on hiring, the group said in a report.
The Business Roundtable said its members forecast U.S. economic growth this year will clock in at 2.3%, down from last quarter’s estimate of 2.6%.
The group, whose chairman is J.P. Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon, blamed tension with China and the stalled free-trade agreement with Mexico and Canada for its members’ downbeat assessment, CNBC explained.
“This quarter’s survey shows American businesses now have their foot poised above the brake, and they’re tapping the brake periodically,” Business Roundtable President Joshua Bolten said in a statement. “Uncertainty is preventing the full potential of the economy from being unleashed, limiting growth and investment here in the U.S.”
According to the Roundtable, the broad index of the CEOs’ outlook fell 10.3 points from the previous quarter to 79.2, below the historical average but still signaling economic growth.
The indexes for sales and capital investment over the next six months also dropped below their long-term averages: Sales declined 13.5 points to 91.6, while investment plunged 14.7 points to 73.4, CNBC explained.
The index for hiring saw the smallest drop, falling 2.6 points to 72.6. That reading remains well above the index’s historical average.
Material from Bloomberg and Reuters has been used in this report.
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