Unpredictability, which has been a prevailing theme under the Donald Trump presidency, is souring many firms' confidence in the U.S. business sector for 2019.
That sentiment, however, contrasts with a diminishing yet relatively strong level of confidence for improving business conditions among individual companies.
The notion that firms may perform even better this year than last, despite much less confidence in business conditions overall, is the key theme of the ninth annual McDonald Hopkins Business Outlook Survey, which was conducted throughout January.
According to the report, only 34% of U.S. executives who responded to the survey expect business conditions to improve either "significantly" (3%) or "modestly" (31%) in 2019
That's in stark contrast to the nearly 80% of respondents who anticipated the same improving conditions in 2018. Respondents largely attributed those sentiments to a sense of "uncertainty," "volatility" and "chaos" in a business world in which financial markets are expecting a recession in the next couple years.
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