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Report: CEOs Plan to Increasing Hiring in Second Half of 2004

A new survey shows that many U.S. corporations expect to boost hiring and capital spending during the next six months as the economy strengthens, reports the Wall Street Journal. Such a forecast bodes well for the embattled office market, which is currently more than 15% vacant.

The Business Roundtable survey polled chief executives from 150 large U.S. companies. The executives expect U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) to grow 3.7% this year. That’s a conservative estimate since Wall Street forecasts a 4.6% increase in GDP. Forty-four percent of the executives plan to increase capital spending over the next six months.

The same executives are more optimistic about the hiring outlook than they have been in years: out of the 116 executives polled, 38% expect to increase hiring within the next 6 months. In December, only 33% of these executives expected to bring in new hires.

Still, 43% of executives anticipate no change in staffing levels, and 19% actually expect to reduce their staff.

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