After a six-month rise, IT executives' confidence in the economic outlook appears to have peaked, at least temporarily. After rising rather steadily for half a year, confidence in the overall economy dropped a tenth of a point to 6.8, and in our respondents' own company by two tenths of a point (also to 6.8). The drop was even more drastic in the financial-services sector, which dropped to 6.9, down from 7.8 in our January survey. One possible explanation: the announcement by the U.S. Department of Labor that while the unemployment rate fell two-tenths of a point in December, to 5.7 percent, the U.S. economy only created 1,000 new jobs during the month, not between 100,000 and 150,000 as had been expected.
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