Central Va. CEOs have improved outlook for next 6 months
43% of CEOs expect sales to increase
While Virginia remains in Phase Three of Gov. Ralph Northam’s Forward Virginia plan, Central Virginia CEOs have an improved outlook for sales, capital spending and employment for the next six months, according to a follow-up 2020 CEO Economic Outlook Survey released Friday by the University of Richmond’s Robins School of Business and the Virginia Council of CEOs (VACEO).
“Survey results over the past four months indicate a positive and steady increase in economic outlook,” Randy Raggio, associate dean at the Robins School, said in a statement. “With the move to Phase Three on July 1, companies will have more opportunity to participate in the recovery.”
Although 43% of CEOs expect sales to increase during the next six months, nearly 38% expect sales to decline and 20% expect a double-digit decline. Approximately one-third of CEOs say they expect capital spending to decrease during the next six months — down from 52% last month.
“These positive results are very welcome news at a time when stress from the continuing uncertainty is taking a toll on employees and business owners,” Mickey Quiñones, dean of the Robins School, said in a statement. “They show that the hard work and sacrifices being made by many are making a difference in the performance of Virginia businesses.”
More than 78% of CEOs expect to continue to operate without significant layoffs, but 10% expect significant layoffs. CEOs also report that productivity from employees has been about the same while working from home.
“CEOs of small and mid-sized Virginia businesses have been resilient and creative in adapting to a tremendously difficult business environment,” VACEOs Executive Director Scot McRoberts said in a statement. “We certainly are not out of the woods yet, but these data are a good sign.”
Eighty-two CEOs responded to the survey, which was administered from June 23 through June 28. CEOs in industries including construction, manufacturing, finance, insurance and retail responded. VACEOs and the Robins School have been releasing survey results each month since March.
For upcoming surveys, VACEOs is opening the survey to any area businesses whose companies gross at least $1 million in annual revenue. If enough businesses participate, then industry-specific data will be released in the future.