CEOs feel slightly stronger about the American economy than they did last year, though they're aware of the long road ahead, finds the Business Round Roundtable’s second quarter 2013 CEO Economic Outlook Survey.

The survey, a composite index of CEOs' expectations for the next six months, covers issues such as sales, capital spending, and employment. BRT took responses from 141 CEOs of leading U.S. companies with more than $7.3 trillion in annual revenues and nearly 16 million employees. 

BRT found the index increased to 84.3 percent from 81 percent in the first quarter of 2013, meaning CEOs expect more economic expansion. Their optimism is at its highest since the second quarter of 2012.  

Here are some other highlights from the survey: 

  • 72 percent expect their companies' sales to grow in the next six months. 
  • 38 percent expect company spending to increase in the U.S., a slight dip from previous forecasts.
  • 29 percent expect hiring to ramp up in the next six months. 

“Overall, CEOs see the U.S. economy still on a slow road to recovery," said Jim McNerney, chairman of BRT, and chairman, president, and CEO of The Boeing Company. "Relative to economic conditions, business performance remains strong, but the U.S. government’s unresolved long-term fiscal path and an uncertain political environment are key obstacles to more robust economic growth and hiring.”

How do you feel about the economy right now? Share your thoughts in the comments.