SOURCE: Chief Executive Magazine

January 08, 2008 10:59 ET

CEOs' 2008 Predictions: What's in Store for the Dow, Oil Prices and Interest Rates?

Chief Executive Magazine's Year-End Poll Indicates Economic Stability Is Top on CEOs' Wish List for 2008

MONTVALE, NJ--(Marketwire - January 8, 2008) - Chief executives expect the Dow Jones Industrial Average, oil prices and interest rates to hold steady in 2008, according to the annual year-end poll conducted by Chief Executive magazine. The results of the poll show that CEOs predict the Dow to sit at around 13359, oil prices to be at $96 and the Fed funds rate to remain at 4.25 percent by the end of 2008.

Given that Dow closed 2007 at 13264.82, crude oil at $95.98 and Fed funds rate at 4.25 percent, CEOs' predictions seem to point to a flat economy in 2008.

"This year's results indicate that CEOs expect a slow economy in 2008 but not a full-fledged recession," said Ed Kopko, CEO and publisher of Chief Executive magazine. "However, when we compare the survey results over the last two years, we see that CEOs generally tend to be conservative in their predictions."

This year marks the third year of predictions CEOs have made for these economic fundamentals. In 2006, CEOs were pretty modest about their predictions for Dow, estimating that it would only rise three percent, when in actuality it rose more than six percent. However, CEOs' predictions for interest rates and oil prices were quite off mark, as they did not foresee the economic shocks that occurred during 2007.

At the end of 2006, CEOs predicted that interest rates, which were 5.25 percent at the time, would linger around 5.34 percent by the end of 2007. Interest rates have since then dropped by a 100 basis points. With regard to oil prices, they were particularly unprepared for the sudden and dramatic rise, and predicted crude oil to trade at $65 at the end of 2007 -- $30 below where it ended the year.

"Next year will be very interesting and unprecedented as it relates to the economy and market conditions," said Michael Corley, president and COO, Progressive Employer Services. "Given the upcoming elections, the instability in the Middle East and China's evolving role in world economy, it is hard to make economic predictions, but we believe these changes and uncertainty are also likely to create opportunities."

Most of the CEOs surveyed shared Corley's sentiments and indicated that economic stability was on top of their wish list in 2008. Following economic stability was CEOs' desire to find a better work-life balance.

"Sometimes we forget what is really important in life," said Chris Murray, President of Murray Financial Group. "With all of the business and financial 'noise' in our 24/7 world, a proper perspective on health, wealth and family is sometimes hard to keep in check."

ABOUT CHIEF EXECUTIVE MAGAZINE

Chief Executive is a controlled circulation magazine that has been published since 1977. It reaches 42,000 chief executive officers and their peers, reaches a total readership of 228,000. Chief Executive Group facilitates "Chief Executive of the Year," a prestigious honor bestowed upon an outstanding corporate leader, nominated and selected by a group of his or her peers. Robert Ulrich, A. G. Lafley, George David, Fred Smith, Bill Gates, John Chambers, Michael Dell and Sandy Weill are just some of the leaders who have been honored during the award's 22-year history. Chief Executive also organizes roundtable meetings and conferences to foster opportunities for top corporate officers to discuss key subjects and share their experiences within a community of peers. Visit www.chiefexecutive.net for more information.

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