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CEO confidence in the recovery is declining

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Good morning.

CEO confidence about the recovery seems to have declined ever-so-slightly since June, according to a new poll conducted by Fortune Analytics, in collaboration with Deloitte. Of the CEOs surveyed, 47{ce8ce7cc98bffdc4302011057a79600ea02c464c5536f1477c12acdb8bd79c00} said they expected revenues to be fully recovered by January 2021, down from 51{ce8ce7cc98bffdc4302011057a79600ea02c464c5536f1477c12acdb8bd79c00} who said the same in June. And 35{ce8ce7cc98bffdc4302011057a79600ea02c464c5536f1477c12acdb8bd79c00} don’t see revenues recovering until 2022, while 23{ce8ce7cc98bffdc4302011057a79600ea02c464c5536f1477c12acdb8bd79c00} said they plan to reduce the size of their work force in the next 12 months.

But the picture is an uneven one and varies by company and industry. Forty percent of CEOs say their revenues have already recovered or never dropped, and 50{ce8ce7cc98bffdc4302011057a79600ea02c464c5536f1477c12acdb8bd79c00} say their employment levels already have recovered or never dropped.

There is broader agreement as it relates to commercial real estate: 76{ce8ce7cc98bffdc4302011057a79600ea02c464c5536f1477c12acdb8bd79c00} say they will need less office space than they had before the pandemic. And 28{ce8ce7cc98bffdc4302011057a79600ea02c464c5536f1477c12acdb8bd79c00} said they’ll need a lot less office space.

The survey also found that 96{ce8ce7cc98bffdc4302011057a79600ea02c464c5536f1477c12acdb8bd79c00} of CEOs say that diversity, equity and inclusion is a “strategic priority/goal for me as CEO,” and 81{ce8ce7cc98bffdc4302011057a79600ea02c464c5536f1477c12acdb8bd79c00} say their “DEI efforts have significantly accelerated in the wake of the death of George Floyd and injustices toward other Black individuals.” You can receive the Fortune Analytics newsletter by subscribing to our premium plan.

More news below. And a correction from yesterday: There were 207 companies whose top executives signed the Business Roundtable statement on corporate purpose in the last year, and of those, 152 were included in Just Capital’s rankings of 1000 companies. All but 19 ranked in the top half of the rankings, reinforcing my point: By Just Capital’s metrics, the Business Roundtable signatories are like children of Lake Wobegon—nearly all above average.

Alan Murray

[email protected]

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