The Collegian
Thursday, August 06, 2020

CEO economic outlook survey bodes well for seniors

<p>An illustration depicting an upward trend. CEOs intend to increase their companies' capital spending, which is good news for Richmond students. </p>

An illustration depicting an upward trend. CEOs intend to increase their companies' capital spending, which is good news for Richmond students. 

Central Virginia CEOs feel strongly optimistic about revenues and hiring in 2015, according to a survey released last week by the Robins School of Business and the Virginia Council of CEOs.

About 69 percent of the 63 CEOs polled at the end of the third quarter expected its companies' revenues to grow during the next six months, an increase of 4 percent from the second-quarter survey.

"I take it as good news, but I'm not sure that it generalizes to the broader economy," said Richard Coughlan, senior associate dean of the Robins School, who administers the survey each financial quarter.

Seniors looking for employment can also feel reassured — nearly 60 percent of the participating CEOs expected to hire additional employees during the next six months, an increase of 9 percent from the previous quarter. This result comes on news of the national seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropping below 6 percent in September — the first time it has been that low since July 2008.

"As a senior currently actively applying and interviewing for a full-time position post-graduation, it is encouraging to hear that employers are investing more in human resources," Kikki Tso said in response to the survey results.

Furthermore, about 42 percent of the CEOs anticipated increasing their companies' capital spending during the next six months, a 13 percent increase from last quarter.

“These results are not surprising,” said Scot McRoberts, executive director of the Virginia Council of CEOs, a networking group for small-business CEOs. “With economic growth over 3 percent in three of the last four quarters, and a forecast of steady growth in 2015, CEOs are investing in the human and capital resources that will allow them to grow.”

The participating chief executives led small- to mid-sized companies, according to the survey, with a median revenue of about $3 million. The survey was adapted from one conducted nationally by the Business Roundtable, a Washington, D.C.-based lobbying group for American CEOs.

Contact reporter Ben Panko at ben.panko@richmond.edu

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