By Eric Morath
WASHINGTON--U.S. chief executives are less optimistic about the economic recovery now than they were three months ago as lawmakers have yet to address the pending fiscal cliff.
A survey released Wednesday by the Business Roundtable showed that fewer CEOs expect sales and capital investment to increase in the near future than they forecast in June. More top executives now expect their firms to cut jobs rather than add.
According to the Roundtable's third-quarter CEO Economic Outlook Survey, only 29% expect employment at their companies to grow in the next six months, compared to 34% that expect headcount to decline.
"The downshift in quarterly sentiment reflects continuing concern about the strength of the recovery, including uncertainty over the approaching fiscal cliff and accompanying debates about the tax code, sequestration and the debt ceiling," Boeing Co. (BA) CEO Jim McNerney said in a statement. He is chairman of the Business Roundtable, an association of CEOs.
The survey was completed between Aug. 30 and Sept. 14. Responses were received from 138 members, 65% of total membership.