Windsor, CT, February 26, 2002 — The LIMRA International CEO Outlook Index showed a slight increase in fourth quarter 2001, the first sign of improvement in a year. The index reflects optimism by many CEOs of U.S. and Canadian life insurance companies that industry conditions are improving and that their companies will see higher sales in 2002.
“While the index is still down 104 points compared to the high we experienced in fourth quarter of 2000, the fourth quarter’s 15-point increase is encouraging,” said Donna Ericson, LIMRA International research promotion consultant, who conducts the survey.
Overall, the fourth quarter index stood at 618 at the end of the year, down from 722 at the end of 2000, but up from its low of 603 for the third quarter. The index is based on a possible 1,000 points and measures the relative optimism of U.S. and Canadian CEOs regarding their companies and the industry at large.
The index is based on a quarterly survey of company CEOs, who are asked to rate their expectations on sales, stock prices, profitability, staffing, regulation and other issues. LIMRA first tracked the index in second quarter 1999. The survey panel, which is not a constant group, includes about 50 CEOs and generates about 30 responses.
“While the CEOs continue to show more optimism with their own company measures versus the industry measures, confidence in the industry’s future increased 32 points (on a 1000-point scale) in the fourth quarter. The gap between the two is the narrowest it has ever been,” Ericson said.
On the other hand, while executives are optimistic about the coming year, the uncertain economy is still a source of concern. In response to the question “What’s keeping you awake at night this week?” executives cited, in addition to the economy, issues of effective leadership team-building, expense control, regulation and legal costs, profitable distribution and sales growth.
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The American College is the nation’s oldest and largest distance learning institution, devoted exclusively to financial services education. Founded in 1927, The American College is accredited by the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.
LIMRA International is a worldwide association of insurance and financial services companies, established to help its members improve their marketing and distribution effectiveness. Founded in 1916, LIMRA International provides research, consulting, products, and learning to more than 800 organizations in 60 countries.