Business confidence dipped last week, likely because of the low response rate to the survey resulting from the Easter holiday. Even with the dip, sentiment remains strong, particularly among U.S. companies. Hiring intentions are sturdy, with almost half of respondents saying that they are hiring and only 10% reducing payrolls. Businesses are upbeat about prospects through the summer. The most notable weakness is in assessments of current conditions, which have softened a bit in recent weeks. Sentiment is solid across all industries.