Va. CEOs expect sales, employment to increase
Of the 53 CEOs polled, almost 70% expect sales to increase
Almost 70% of CEOs expect sales to increase over the next six months, and about 60% expect employment to increase, according to a third quarter survey conducted by the University of Richmond’s Robins School of Business and the Virginia Council of CEOs (VACEOs).
Compared to answers from the CEO Economic Outlook Survey conducted at the end of the second quarter, more CEOs expected sales, capital spending and employment to increase in the next six months.
“These CEOs are expressing a pre-pandemic level of optimism,” VACEOs Executive Director Scot McRoberts said in a statement. “That is in spite of the significant headwinds of workforce challenges and supply chain disruptions. That’s good news for all of us.”
Sixty-eight percent of CEOs responded that they expected sales to increase over the next six months, with most of those (55%) saying they expected sales to be “higher” and 13% choosing “significantly higher.” Twenty-three percent expect no change in sales.
About 47% expect capital spending to increase over the next half-year, up from 36% last quarter, but 45% expect it to remain flat. More than 8% expect a decrease in capital spending.
About 60% of respondents indicated that they expected employment to increase over the next six months, but 38% expect it to remain flat. Only 2% anticipate employment falling.
Forty-five percent of CEOs polled said they would not require a return to in-person work yet, while 24% said they would, and 31% weren’t sure.
The survey also asked CEOs what percentage of their workforce would be working remotely relative to pre-COVID times. Almost half (47%) said that there would not be a change in the percentage working remotely. Thirty-two percent said a higher percentage of employees would be working remotely compared to the pre-COVID distribution, and 21% said a lower percentage would be working remotely.
The survey was administered from Oct. 5 to Oct. 11, and 53 CEOs responded. Services, retail and construction represent the majority of respondents. The average company whose CEO responded had about $16 million in revenue for the most recent 12-month period and an average of 80 employees.
The Robins School adapted the survey from Business Roundtable, a Washington, D.C.-based lobbyist association of CEOs of U.S. companies, and has administered it since 2010. Rich Boulger, associate dean at the Robins School, administers the survey and collects the responses.