ASTD’s Learning Executive Confidence Index (LXCI) provides a snapshot of learning executives’ confidence and expectations for the next six months in key learning and development indices including the ability to meet learning needs and to impact corporate productivity, status of learning as a key strategic component, and availability of resources for learning. The LXCI assesses the expectations and forecasts of learning executives for the next six months on a 100-point scale. Higher indices (above 50) reflect a more positive outlook for the learning function while lower indices are more negative. Learning executives reporting scores of 51 to 100 on the scale expect aspects of their learning function to be moderately or substantially better in the next six months. Those with scores of 0 to 49 on the scale anticipate that aspects of their learning function will be moderately or substantially worse in the coming six months than they are today. ASTD’s LXCI is published quarterly each year (January, April, July, and October).
Despite a strong start to 2011, which had a record high score of 67.3, this was the third consecutive quarter that showed a decrease in positivity, a first since 2009. In the fourth quarter of 2012, with a score of 63.9, the LXCI was at its lowest point since Q4, 2010, which had a score of 62.9. This shows that as the year approaches its end, executives’ sentiments remain wary.
Although scores for this year have been showing a decrease during Q2, through Q4, of 2012, scores are overall higher than those in in 2009 and 2010. In the past year, scores have varied quarter by quarter anywhere between 0.2 and 1.7 points. The LXCI Q4, 2012 score decreased by 0.6 points to 63.9 from last quarter’s score of 64.5. The similarity in the trend of scores between 2011 and 2012 reveals that learning executives continue to remain cautiously optimistic due to the recovery of the economy and job market. Additionally, for Q4, 2012, scores may be lower due to end of the year budgeting (for both companies and the U.S. government), disruptions to the political climate (election year), and current economic challenges, such as the Fiscal Cliff. The current Learning Executive Confidence Index (LXCI) surveyed 240 learning executives (LXs).