Will Capital Spending Pick Up Where Stimulus Leaves Off?

Jeffrey Resnick, global managing director at ORC
Jeffrey Resnick, global managing director at ORC

The stock market enters the final week of the first half of 2010 more jittery than ever about the prospects for global recovery -- and well it should. If private spending fails to pick up where trillions and trillions of government stimulus dollars leave off, a double-dip recession is almost certainly unavoidable.

That's why the U.S. is trying to bully Germany at the G-20 summit in Toronto. And who knows? Perhaps the world really is just an austerity budget away from falling apart again.

So it's both mildly surprising and somewhat encouraging that CEOs say they plan on investing in their businesses -- that means capital expenditures and hiring (they swear) -- through the end of next year, at least. That's one of the more optimistic findings of the latest NYSE Euronext (NYX) Annual CEO Report, which surveyed 325 chief executives around the world and found them to be significantly more upbeat than a year ago.

"From what they are seeing and planning, CEOs say they're going back to the business of growing business," says Jeffrey Resnick, global managing director at ORC, an independent research and consulting firm that produced the report. "CEOs' outlooks may not be great, but 80% say they plan on growing their business through 2011," Resnick says. (For more, see video below.)