WASHINGTON -- The American economy just can’t seem to catch a break.
Now that the housing market is reviving and consumer optimism is edging higher, business investments and confidence among America’s leading corporate bosses appear to be waning.
In its third-quarter survey released Wednesday, the Business Roundtable said chief executives of its member companies are decidedly more pessimistic about near-term sales, capital spending and hiring than they were three months earlier.
In fact, the composite index of CEO expectations fell to its lowest level since the third quarter of 2009.
Jim McNerney, Boeing Co.’s chief and chair of the Business Roundtable, blamed the weakening sentiment on continuing concerns about the recovery – and in particular uncertainty over the looming "fiscal cliff," higher federal taxes and spending cuts scheduled for next year. Rising energy prices and the still-unsettled affairs in Europe aren’t helping matters, either.