Business: Bearish Bosses

Among business decision makers, optimism about the future of the economy is at its lowest level in years. That gloomy statistic comes from a survey of "executive confidence" by the marketing firm of Sindlinger & Co. In a three-week period ending early in April, a nationwide sample of 230 owners and managers was queried. Only 50.9% of them thought that business conditions, employment and their own incomes would not be worse six months from now. This was the smallest percentage since July 1960, just after the last recession began. In January 1969, when President Nixon was inaugurated, the confidence level stood...

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