CEOs’ Outlook More Optimistic Following The November Election, Survey Says

Business owners have generally grown more optimistic about the national economy in the month since the U.S. election. The Wall Street Journal/Vistage Small Business CEO Survey found that 55 percent say that the election has improved their outlook on the economy, a six-point gain from October and the first month-to-month gain in economic confidence in over a year. Published on a monthly basis, the survey highlights the sentiments from U.S. CEOs and small-business owners in a number of industries.

“The initial reactions are quite positive, like any honeymoon,” says Dr. Richard Curtin, research professor and director of the Surveys of Consumers at the University of Michigan, who conducts the analyses for the WSJ/Vistage survey each month. “But a successful partnership will take time to develop and require hard work. More importantly, we do not know the specific economic proposals and regulatory changes the Trump administration would actually propose and implement.”

The survey found that 40 percent of CEOs say that the election has improved prospects for the company, with 40 percent expecting no impact and 20 percent saying they have a worse view.

“In the immediate future, remember that Trump—love him or hate him—brings a lot of uncertainty, and uncertainty can often cause interest rates to rise,” says Vistage member Ami Kassar, founder and CEO of MultiFunding. “So this is a good time for small businesses to look at their current loans and consider moving from variable to fixed-rate interest.”

Economist Brian Beaulieu, CEO of ITR Economics, adds, “The thing to take advantage of is the timing. We can expect interest rates to go higher, so if you haven’t yet secured long-term debt, do so.”

For more analysis of The Wall Street Journal/Vistage Small Business CEO Survey from Curtin, Kassar and Beaulieu, click here. Visit here for the survey’s full results.

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