Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Post-Election 4th Quarter Economic Survey Index Reaches New High, Predicts Trump’s Impact

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 through a comprehensive “Economic Outlook Survey.”

The post-election fourth quarter 2016 CEO Economic Outlook survey finds the highest level of optimism among central Virginia CEOs in the survey’s six-year history.

The survey’s index, which measures executives’ views on projected hiring, capital spending and sales over the next six months, surpassed previous highs recorded in Q1 2016 and Q3 2015. The survey has been administered quarterly since 2010.

“This record index is encouraging. I expect 2017 will be a relatively strong year for area small businesses, but acquiring and retaining talent will remain a major hurdle for most,” said Scot McRoberts, executive director of the Virginia Council of CEOs.

Executives’ expectations for sales, hiring and capital spending all were higher than in the third quarter survey.

To summarize, CEOs predictions over the next six months include:

  • 82 percent of respondents expecting an increase in sales  (up from the 66 last quarter)
  • Thirty-three percent of respondents expect sales to increase by more than 10 percent
  • Forty-four percent of respondents expect capital spending to increase (up from 36 percent last quarter)
  • 47 percent expect capital spending to stay flat  nearly identical to the 48 percent who expected flat capital spending last quarter)
  • Nearly 62 percent expect employment to increase over the next six months (up from the 50 percent last quarter)

This quarter’s survey asked about the impact of the incoming Trump administration on central Virginia companies. Thirty-eight percent expect his election to increase profits over the next six months, nine percent expect his election to decrease profits and 53 percent expect no impact.


The survey, adapted from a similar Business Roundtable national survey, provides a snap shot of the overall economic outlook index for various companies within the region. It also helps central Virginia companies anticipate business decisions and plan for growth. Randy Raggio, Associate Dean at the Robins School of Business, administers the survey and collects the responses each quarter.

> Read entire Robins School of Business press release.

> Read Richmond Times Dispatch coverage.

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

Posted by Staff at 12:00 pm
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