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US CEOs expect to boost hiring in next 6 months

WASHINGTON — Chief executives at the largest U.S. companies expect sales to keep growing in the next six months and also plan to step up hiring.

The Business Roundtable says 40 percent of its member CEOs expect to hire more workers, up from 34 percent in the third quarter. Nearly three-quarters project their sales will rise, roughly the same as the previous quarter.

The findings suggest that slowing growth overseas hasn’t caused large corporations to pull back on their hiring plans. That bodes well for the government’s report on November job gains, to be released Friday.

Still, the CEOs say they are less likely to invest in new facilities or equipment: 13 percent say they plan to cut such spending, up from just 10 percent in the previous quarter.

BY CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER, AP Economics Writer