On Monday, the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) released the results of its quarterly survey of public company directors. The Board Confidence Index (BCI) is designed to provide a snapshot of sentiment about the economy from the perspective of the corporate boardroom. In each quarterly survey, directors are asked to score their attitudes about the economy on a scale that ranges from "substantially worse" (assigned a value of 0 points) to "substantially better" (100 points). Their responses are averaged for each question, so that scores above 50 points indicate a positive outlook, scores below 50 indicate a negative outlook, and scores around 50 indicate uncertainty or neutrality.
The latest BCI results indicate that corporate directors expect the economy to continue improving, but to do so slowly and steadily. The average overall BCI score for Q4/2013 was 58.7. Not only does this indicate a generally positive outlook on economic conditions in the United States, but it's almost 4 points higher than the average 2012 score of 54.8. "The continued improvement in boardroom confidence, though not a dramatic change from years past, points to a positive outlook for 2014," says Ken Daly, president and CEO of the NACD.