The National Association of Corporate Directors offered a meandering and milquetoast assessment of the economy and where it’s headed, reflecting the overall fits and starts markets have experienced since the official end of the economic crisis.
Beginning with a review of the levels of first-quarter versus second-quarter optimism in 2011 and 2012, the association says its cautious optimism is “fortified by peer indices.” The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index has risen for the last three months, it notes, reaching 87.3—a height not seen since 2008. Similarly, TCB’s CEO Confidence Index went from a Q1 score of 54 to 62 in Q2.
“Still, perceptions that the economic recovery will collapse [are] still at the forefront of many minds,” the NACD noted. “During the time the BCI survey was in the field, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s statement that the Federal Reserve’s program of quantitative easing may eventually lessen caused a short shock in the markets.”
The market shock may have been reflected in the boardroom’s short-term confidence score. While looking ahead three months respondents demonstrated hesitancy by producing a score of 53, this exact same score was produced when respondents reflected on the prior three months’ economic conditions, according to the association.