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Summary Box: More US CEOs planning to hire

The Associated Press

HIRING PLANS RISE: More CEOs at large U.S. companies say they are optimistic about the economy and plan to step up hiring. A survey of the Business Roundtable's CEO membership found that 42 percent expect to hire over the next six months, up from 35 percent three months ago.

BETTER OUTLOOK: CEOs' views on the economy have improved sharply. The Roundtable's outlook index jumped to 96.9 in the January-March quarter. That's up from 77.9 in previous quarter and the highest since last spring.

GOOD SIGN: The improvement in hiring intentions suggests that the large job gains of the past three months will continue.