US CFOs give thumbs-up to 2004
CFOs in the US have recorded the highest level of economic optimism ever registered in the ‘CFO Outlook Survey’ conducted by Financial Executives International (FEI) and the Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.
Corporate investment is expected to be the most positive area of impact on corporate America as almost 90% of CFOs look forward to a healthy 2004; improved employment figures and a favourable interest rate environment are other factors identified as beneficial for economic growth.
“Corporate America is beginning to loosen its purse strings, and they’re beginning to hire as well,” said John Graham, a finance professor at Duke University. “There are key drivers to a robust economy.”
Almost two-thirds of CFOs think capital spending will see an average increase of 5%, while the expected increase in technology spending stands at 6%. More encouraging still is news that 88% of respondents expect corporate earnings to increase by an average of 14% in 2004.
The survey, carried out in December, polled over 230 US CFOs from corporates across a broad range of industries.