More than 60% of the CEOs of leading U.S. corporations report that Hurricane Katrina will have a negative impact on their businesses, with many expecting the fallout to last up to a year, according to a post-Katrina quarterly survey of 97 CEOs that was conducted by the Business Roundtable.

“While the economy, as reflected in our survey results, clearly took a hit, it does not appear to be uniformly negative,” said Hank McKinnell, CEO of Pfizer Inc. and chairman of the Business Roundtable. “Decreased capital spending is a cause for concern because these investments have been a significant driver of long-term economic growth. It is a number we will be watching in the next survey.”

The post-Katrina survey showed that 40% of CEOs planned increases in capital spending when compared to 54% in the third-quarter survey, which was carried out in mid-August prior to Katrina striking Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. Sales expectations declined slightly from the pre-Katrina survey, with the percentage of CEOs who had anticipated higher sales over the next six months dropping nine percentage points to 74%. Employment expectations were affected the least with only a two percentage point drop in the number of CEOs planning on hiring.

When asked to identify the primary source of any negative impact on their businesses, 29% of the CEOs cited higher energy prices, while 27% pointed to damage to infrastructure and facilities along the Gulf Coast region, and 19% cited supply disruptions.

The Washington, DC-based Business Roundtable is an association of chief executive officers of major corporations with a combined workforce of more than 10 million employees and $4 trillion in annual revenues.

©Copyright 2005Intelligence Press Inc. All rights reserved. The preceding news reportmay not be republished or redistributed, in whole or in part, in anyform, without prior written consent of Intelligence Press, Inc.