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CEOs in central Virginia have an optimistic view of business and the economy for the next six months, according to the 2010 CEO Economic Outlook Survey.

The area’s top executives anticipate an increase in sales and are more likely to hire new employees, 3rd quarter survey results show.

The Virginia Council of CEOs and University of Richmond’s Robins School of Business jointly conduct the quarterly economic outlook survey, which helps central Virginia companies plan for growth. Additional findings reveal that CEOs expect capital spending to increase in the next six months.

“These findings echo what I have been hearing from Richmond area CEOs. They are moving out of a period of risk-avoidance and into a time of opportunity,” said Scot McRoberts, executive director of the Virginia Council of CEOs. “Small and mid-sized businesses will bounce back faster because they are nimble.  However, many are constrained by the difficulty of obtaining financing for growth.”

The results from last month’s 3rd quarter survey and the 2nd quarter survey show CEOs’ sales, spending and employment projections for the next six months.

The council and Robins School surveyed 73 area business owners and CEOs of companies with more than $1 million revenue in central Virginia. Results were calculated by Jeff Pollack, assistant professor of management at the Robins School, who adapted the survey from the Business Roundtable. The economic index is based on businesses’ projected six-month sales, spending and employment figures.

Economic Outlook Index

Survey Date

CEO Economic Outlook Index

2010 Q3

94.47

2010 Q2

81.33

“We are excited about these data. If the trend upward in the CEO Economic Outlook Index continues, it could represent positive economic news for the Richmond area and surrounding region,” said Pollack.

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

Business owners and CEOs who would like to participate in the next survey should contact McRoberts at smcroberts@vaceos.org.

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Related Campus Units

Robins School of Business