CEOs Lose Their Optimism as Job Slowdown Imperils U.S. Growth [View all]
By Chris Burritt - Jun 8, 2012
U.S. chief executive officers are turning more pessimistic about a second-half recovery as rising unemployment and Europe’s debt turmoil threaten domestic growth prospects.
CEOs from General Motors Co. (GM) to Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ) to Manpower Inc. say they are concerned about the health of the U.S. economy. While economists predict a continuing expansion this year and next, executives see a mounting number of obstacles that could clip growth.
U.S. employers added the fewest number of workers to their payrolls in a year last month, while companies including Tiffany & Co. (TIF) and mattress maker Tempur-Pedic International Inc. (TPX) cut their full-year forecasts. European policy makers are also struggling to resolve a crisis that has tipped at least eight of the 17 euro-area economies into recession. The U.S. presidential election is another area of concern, CEOs said.
“There are so many uncertainties,” said Jeffrey Joerres, CEO of Manpower (MAN), the Milwaukee-based provider of temporary workers. “If these uncertainties keep stacking up and none get resolved, we’ll see a hiring pause rather than the current slowdown.”