As President Trump lays out his budget plan and moves forward with a regulatory agenda to cut at least two old regulations for every new one that is passed, optimism surges among business leaders.

The CEO Economic Outlook Index released by the Business Roundtable--a prominent trade association that represents many of the largest corporations in the U.S.--measures CEOs' expectations for sales, employment and capital spending over the next six months.

New numbers show a sharp increase of nearly 20 points to 93.3, the largest uptick the index has seen since the last quarter of 2009, revealing an enthusiastic outlook on the future of the nation's economy.

"CEOs appear to be responding to early indications that the new Administration is serious about creating a better environment for job creation and investment in America," says Joshua Bolten, Business Roundtable president and CEO.

Sales expectations have soared by 21 points in respect to the previous quarter while plans for hiring and capital spending increased by 18 points each. CEOs signaled the tax reform (52 percent) and the regulatory reforms (27 percent) as "the two best ways to create a positive environment for their company's growth," states the report.

"Our CEOs are committed to working collaboratively with policymakers to drive policy solutions," says Jamie Dimon, chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase & Co. and chairman of Business Roundtable. "Starting with far-reaching tax reform and a smarter approach to regulation."

Last month members of the Business Roundtable sent a "deregulation wish list" to the White House, urging the new administration to start repealing policies involving overtime and wage regulations.

The CEO Economic Outlook Index is a quarterly report. This survey was conducted between February 8 and March 1 of this year, and includes responses from 141 member CEOs.

Published on: Mar 16, 2017