New York (April 6, 2004) -- Chief executives’ confidence in the economy surged during the first quarter to its highest level in 20 years, according to the latest survey by the Conference Board.

CEO confidence, which slipped to 66 in the final quarter of 2003, surged to 73 in the first quarter -- the highest reading since 1983, when the measure reached 74 in the fourth quarter, the Conference Board reported. A reading of more than 50 points reflects more positive than negative responses.

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