The outlook of chief executive officers of leading companies improved significantly in the fourth quarter from the previous quarter, according to the Business Roundtable’s 2010 CEO Economic Outlook Survey.

Eighty percent expect sales to increase in the next six months, compared with 66% who thought so in the third quarter. Fifty-nine expect to increase their capital spending, up from 49% in the third quarter. And 45% expect to hire additional employees, up from 31%.

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