Monday, October 19, 2020

Virginia Economic Outlook Continues to Improve During Q3

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 Virginia CEO Economic Outlook Survey. 

The third quarter 2020 CEO Economic Outlook survey finds that expectations over the next six months for sales and employment all improved compared with expectations at the end of Q2 while expectations of capital spending decreased somewhat.

Read Richmond Times-Dispatch coverage >

Economic Index Historical Data (OCT 2020)

YearQuarter 1Quarter 2Quarter 3Quarter 4
202050.4365.20
2020 (May 27)26.2
2020 (April 27)-1.33
2020-18.73 (historic low)
2019100.594.1386.33101.47
201894.6092.73104.3097.97
2017108.97 (historic high)103.6399.17106.3
2016102.0089.0089.67107.37
201593.9093.4299.8092.67
201486.07

88.7196.1095.92
201386.4091.6092.5389.57
201294.1081.1381.1777.57
201185.6374.1781.1788.63
201081.3394.4792.27

Says Scot McRoberts, executive director of the Virginia Council of CEOs, “The data reflects what I am hearing from small business CEOs. The pace of recovery is slowing. The lack of another round of stimulus from Congress seem to be a contributor, along with the crippling effects of the pandemic on certain sectors of the economy.”

“The survey results continue to suggest a positive outlook over the next six months,” said Rich Boulger, associate dean at the Robins School. Boulger administers the survey and collects the responses each quarter. He adds, “The Index, which consists of an average of Virginia Council of CEO members expectations with respect to sales, capital spending and employment, continues to rise (65.2 versus 50.4 last quarter) at this difficult time.”

“The economic climate appears to have settled into a steady growth scenario, which should aid business leaders in making decisions going forward,” said Mickey Quiñones, dean of the Robins School. “However, with uncertainties surrounding the pandemic and future government stimulus, we are clearly not out of the woods yet.”

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: SALES, CAPITAL SPENDING, HIRING

The 2020 third quarter survey found that, taken as a whole, the results pertaining to sales, capital spending, and employment produce an improvement in economic outlook over results from the end of Q2. To summarize, CEOs predictions over the next six months include:

SALES EXPECTATIONS

  • 61 percent expect an increase in sales 
  • 23 percent expected sales to be “Lower”

 

CAPITAL SPENDING EXPECTATIONS

  • 25 percent of respondents expect capital spending to decrease
  • 14 percent expect capital spending to increase
  • 60 percent expect capital spending to remain flat

EMPLOYMENT EXPECTATIONS

  • 43 percent expect employment to remain flat
  • 40 precent expect employment to increase
  • 17 percent expect employment to fall  
  • 80 percent of CEOs expect to continue to operate without significant layoffs
  • 13 percent expect layoffs, while about 6% are uncertain at this time

SURVEY SAMPLE

  • 63 CEOs responded to the survey, which was administered September 28 – October 5, 2020 
  • Multiple industries are represented in the sample, including construction, manufacturing, finance and insurance and retail
  • The average company revenue (most recent 12-month period): $15.6 million
  • The average employment count: 71

READ COMPLETE ECONOMIC SURVEY RESULTS
The Robins School and VACEOs jointly conduct the quarterly survey, which regularly asks about expectations for sales, capital spending and employment, plus other relevant issues, helping Virginia companies anticipate business conditions 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. Rich Boulger, associate dean at the Robins School, administers the survey and collects the responses each quarter. The survey has been administered quarterly since 2010.

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 smcroberts@vaceos.org.

ABOUT VIRGINIA COUNCIL OF CEOs
The Virginia Council of CEOs is a nonprofit association whose mission is to connect the CEOs of small and mid-sized businesses for learning and growth. The Council is led by a volunteer board of directors, advisory board and a small staff. Currently, there are more than 200 CEO members, mainly in Richmond and Charlottesville. Learn more at www.vaceos.org.

ABOUT ROBINS SCHOOL OF BUSINESS

The Robins School of Business is the only fully accredited, highly-ranked undergraduate business school that also is part of a highly-ranked liberal arts university. U.S. News ranks the Robins School’s MBA program #35 in the country. The school’s executive education division offers open enrollment courses and customized leadership development, training and consulting to area businesses.

Posted by Staff at 10:16 am

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