Top US CEOs see coronavirus economic effects enduring

Most businesses do not expect to recover to pre-pandemic levels until end of next year

U.S. business leaders do not expect the effects of the coronavirus pandemic to wear off quickly even as the economy shows early signs of recovery, a new survey shows.

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Executives at the country’s top companies are not optimistic about their capital spending, hiring plans or sales expectations throughout the remainder of the year, according to Business Roundtable’s Q2 2020 CEO Economic Outlook Survey. In the second quarter, the index’s overall reading was 34.3 – marking a contraction and the lowest reading since 2009.

US CONSUMER SPENDING UP 8.2%, PARTLY ERASING RECORD PLUNGE

Most businesses do not expect to recover to pre-pandemic levels until the end of next year, with more than one-quarter of respondents saying it could take even longer.

CEOs expected GDP to contract by 3.8 percent for the year.

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“The outlook of Business Roundtable CEOs reflects the reality of current economic conditions,” Joshua Bolten, president and CEO of Business Roundtable, said in a statement. “We appreciate the actions taken by the Administration and Congress so far to help American workers, small businesses and communities, but there is much more to do. We encourage policymakers to work together on additional measures that will help bring a rapid end to this public health crisis and encourage economic recovery efforts as business operations resume.”

The disappointing reading comes as coronavirus cases have begun to spike in areas throughout the U.S., causing some states to pause reopening plans and others to urge individuals to stay at home. The number of confirmed coronavirus cases passed 2.5 million this weekend.

The labor market in May had shown some early signs of recovery after an astounding 2.5 million jobs were added and the unemployment rate fell. A read on the labor market in June is scheduled for release on Thursday.

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