Is Your Company Better Off Today?
On the heels of the Republican and Democratic National Conventions and the 2012 presidential elections rapidly approaching, both parties have asked voters to compare the current state of the country to its status four years ago. This assessment is no small task—the highs and lows of the last several years have proven difficult to pinpoint by previously used indicators. While the housing market is beginning to show signs of improvement and the stock market has been on a definite incline since 2009, the unemployment rate remains uncomfortably high.
Two years ago, NACD launched the Board Confidence Index (BCI) to provide a snapshot of the economy from the boardroom’s perspective. While peer indices track sentiment and confidence levels from consumers, CEOs, and investors, the BCI surveys public company directors—those who are responsible for providing guidance to companies, with the long-term strategic objectives in mind. In fact, during the last few tumultuous quarters, the boardroom has trended with peer indices, albeit more moderately.
In the 3rd quarter of 2011, the BCI registered its lowest score in face of what appeared to be a stalled economic recovery. In response to disconcerting discussions regarding the national budget, Standard & Poor’s downgrade of the U.S. credit rating, and fears of inflation and stagnant unemployment figures, the Index registered a less-than-confident 47.5. When asked about current economic conditions versus the prior year, directors responded with a score of 46—demonstrating an uncertain view that the nation had made progress. Nearly half of respondents indicated conditions were moderately or substantially worse.
Jumping ahead to today, the economy is facing many of the same issues as one year ago. The fiscal cliff looms, the Federal Reserve has signaled it may undertake a third round of quantitative easing in the coming months, and the European debt crisis weighs on the global economy. As such, NACD is once again soliciting the opinion of its membership for the BCI: Is your company better off today than it was one year ago?
This quick survey should only take 2 minutes of your time. Click here to take it.