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CEO Confidence Improved Markedly in Q4 2010, Conference Board Says

After declining in the third quarter of 2010, the Conference Board's CEO Confidence Index increased to 62 in the fourth quarter of 2010, from 50 the previous quarter.

"The bounce back in CEO confidence signals that the cloud of pessimism that prevailed in the third quarter has lifted and CEOs are once again optimistic," says Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center. "The improvement in both current and future conditions suggests a strong finish to 2010 and continued growth in the first half of 2011."

Fifty-six percent of surveyed CEOs said business conditions were better compared to six months earlier, an increase from 32 percent in the third quarter of 2010. The same number expected improving economic conditions in the next six months, an increase from 22 percent. And 55 percent of business executives said conditions had improved, up from 38 percent in the third quarter.

Most surveyed executives said they would increase their selling prices by an average of 3.3 percent in 2011 to reflect inflation.

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