US chief executives' view of the economy dimmed in the second quarter of 2012, with fewer expecting to grow sales or add workers than three months earlier, according to a survey by the Business Roundtable released on Wednesday.
The group's CEO Economic Outlook Index fell to 89.1 in the second quarter, down from 96.9 in the first quarter but still well over the 50 mark that separates growth from decline.
Seventy-five percent of CEOs said they expected their companies' sales to grow over the next six months, down from the 81 percent who expected that in the March edition of the survey. Thirty-six percent plan to add jobs in the United States over the next six months, down from 42 percent last time, and 43 percent expect to boost capital spending, down from 48 percent.
The survey comes at the end of a quarter that saw Europe's economic woes intensify, leading some analysts to forecast slower sales growth for corporate America this year. Investors will get a more detailed view next month when top US companies including Alcoa Inc, JPMorgan Chase & Co and General Electric Co report results.
The survey of 164 CEOs was conducted from May 17 through June 8. Business Roundtable member companies generate $6 trillion in annual revenue and employ more than 14 million people. - Reuters