Middle-Market CEOs Remained Optimistic About Business in the Second Quarter, Finds Marcum CEO Survey

CEOs of the nation’s middle-market companies remained solidly optimistic about the general business environment in the second quarter, according to a survey by New York-based Marcum LLP (FY17 net revenue of $469.5 million). However, the percentage of CEOs with a negative outlook more than tripled during the period.

An overwhelming majority of 96.51% of CEOs rated their business outlook neutral to positive in the survey for the second quarter of 2018. This represents a marginal decline from 99.17% in the first quarter. There was a corresponding increase in CEOs expressing a negative outlook on business, which up-ticked to 3.49% in the second quarter, from less than 1% in the prior period.

The survey’s reading on CEO optimism for the second quarter translates to a weighted average of 7.41, down from 7.77 in the first quarter.

“CEOs maintained a highly positive outlook on the business environment for their companies and their industries overall during the second quarter. However, we saw declines in the upper registers of the rating scale, in the 7 to 10 range, which suggests that CEOs were somewhat less positive in the second quarter than in the first. Interestingly, there was also a diversity of opinion among CEOs, even within the same industries, with some assessing their business outlook at the highest rating and others selecting the lowest. This will be something to keep our eyes on in the next two quarters and beyond,” says Jeffrey Weiner, Marcum’s chairman and CEO.

The Marcum CEO Survey is a quarterly gauge of middle-market CEOs’ outlook of the current business environment and their priorities for the next 12 months. It is a companion to Chief Executive Group’s monthly CEO Confidence Index, America’s largest monthly survey of chief executives.

For the complete Marcum CEO Survey for the second quarter of 2018, visit www.marcumllp.com.