Monday, July 27, 2015

Virginia CEOs Report Economic Outlook in 2015 2nd Quarter Survey

Robins School of Business – Virginia Council of CEOs survey remains positive


>> Richmond Times Dispatch coverage of this story here.


Each quarter the Virginia Council of CEOs (VACEOs) and University of Richmond’s Robins School of Business partner to take the pulse of top executives in the region.


The survey results provided by Richard Coughlan, Senior Associate Dean at the Robins School of Business, provide a snap shot of the overall economic outlook index for various companies within the region and help central Virginia companies anticipate business decisions and plan for growth.


Overall, the Economic Outlook Index for the second quarter dropped slightly from 93.90 to 93.42, yet CEOs remain optimistic about sales and capital spending. In fact, nearly three-quarters of respondents expecting sales to increase over the next six months. Only 5.8 percent expect sales to decrease.




Among the 54 CEOs of small and mid-sized companies participating in the survey this quarter, there was a small increase (from 35.9 percent to 37 percent) in the percentage of CEOs planning to increase capital spending. That was accompanied by a sizeable decrease (from 47.2 percent to 38.9 percent) in the percentage of executives expecting to increase the number of domestic employees. Another 59.3 percent of executives expect no change in hiring during the next six months.


Says Scot McRoberts, executive director of the Virginia Council of CEOs, “Steady as she goes! Hiring seems to be on a hiatus for the summer, but the survey’s overall index remains positive. In spite of some weakness appearing in national small business outlook indices, area CEOs are bullish on increasing sales in the next two quarters.”



For the second consecutive quarter, the survey asked CEOs about the impact of a possible interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve Bank. A slight majority of executives (54.7 percent) indicated such a move would not make much difference in their business. Another 41.5 percent indicated it would have an unfavorable impact while only two of the 53 respondents indicated the impact would be favorable.


Survey Results
The following survey results from the second quarter of 2015 show projections for the next six months for sales, spending and employment:




Economic Outlook Index
The results also provide an overall economic outlook index, which is based on businesses’ projected six-month sales, spending and employment figures.




About the 2015, Second Quarter Robins School of Business / VACEOs Economic Survey

The Virginia Council of CEOs and the Robins School jointly conduct the quarterly survey, which helps central Virginia companies anticipate business decisions and plan for growth. The Robins School adapted the survey from the Business Roundtable, an association of CEOs of American companies that conducts a similar survey nationally. Richard Coughlan, senior associate dean at the Robins School, administers the survey and collects the responses each quarter.


The council and the Robins School collected responses from 54 CEOs in central Virginia. The average annual revenue year-to-date for CEOs responding was $4 million. Multiple industries are represented in the sample (for example, construction, manufacturing, finance and insurance, and retail). The median number of full-time employees for responding companies in this survey was 22.5.


Request Results
The council continues to expand the survey beyond its members, offering any area business owners whose companies gross at least $1 million in annual revenue the opportunity to participate. If enough businesses participate, the council will provide survey results by industry. Participation is free, and all participants will receive copies of the survey data.


Business owners and CEOs who would like to participate in the next survey should contact Scot McRoberts at


About the Virginia Council of CEOs
The Virginia Council of CEOs is a nonprofit organization, whose mission is to connect the CEOs of second-stage companies so they can learn from each other and grow their businesses. Learn more at


About the Robins School of Business
The Robins School of Business  is the only fully accredited, top-ranked undergraduate business school that also is part of a top-ranked liberal arts university. Bloomberg Businessweek ranks both the Robins School’s undergraduate and part-time MBA programs among the top 25 in the country in their respective categories. The school’s executive education division offers open enrollment courses and customized leadership development programs for individuals and businesses.

Posted by Scot McRoberts at 7:04 pm
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