U.S. CEOs' View of Economy Deteriorating

(Reuters) - U.S. chief executives' view of the economy deteriorated sharply in the third quarter, with the number who expect to cut jobs roughly doubling, according to a survey released on Thursday.

A quarterly survey by the Business Roundtable found that 24 percent of CEOs expected to cut jobs in the U.S. over the next six months, more than double the 11 percent who had forecasted that in the second quarter.

The number who expected the companies' sales to rise fell to 65 percent from 87 percent and the number who expect to boost capital spending fell to 32 percent from 61 percent.

The overall CEO Economic Outlook index dropped for a second consecutive quarter to 77.6, its lowest point since the fourth quarter of 2009. Even at the lower level the diffusion index remained above 50, implying that CEOs expected the economy to grow.

Overall, CEOs look for real U.S. gross domestic product to rise 1.8 percent this year, sharply lower than the 2.8 percent growth forecast in March.

The survey of 140 CEOs was conducted from August 29 through September 16. Business Roundtable-member companies generate some $6 trillion in annual revenue and employ more than 14 million people.

(Reporting by Scott Malone in Boston, editing by Dave Zimmerman)