Although CEO confidence improved during the first quarter in 2012, it fell from 63 to 47 in the second quarter, according to the Conference Board Measure of CEO Confidence.

A figure of more than 50 points represents positive responses.

"CEOs began the year quite upbeat, but the lackluster performance of the economy so far and expectations of more of the same have clearly impacted attitudes," says Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at The Conference Board. "On a positive note, CEOs remain confident profits will continue to increase, driven primarily by market/demand growth."

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