CEOs’ Economic Outlook Eases on Trade Policy Uncertainty

The economic outlook among chief executives of America’s largest companies cooled slightly in the third quarter, as confrontational U.S. trade policies weighed on planning for capital spending and hiring.

The Business Roundtable CEO Economic Outlook Index, which measures company plans for capital investment, hiring and sales, declined to 109.3 from 111.1 in the second quarter. While the third-quarter outlook index still clocked in at the fifth-highest level in the survey’s 16-year history—a signal of strong executive sentiment—business leaders expressed concern over trade policies.

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