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CFOs to go on hiring spree

The second quarter of 2004 will see an increase in the rate of staff hiring in the finance departments at US corporates - the third consecutive quarterly rise - according to the Robert Half international financial hiring index.

Seven percent of respondents reported a willingness to increase their employee numbers while just one percent predicted a cut in staff numbers. The net increase of six percent is the highest projected staff number increase in the survey since the third quarter of 2001.

Optimistic staffing figures are allied with prospects for business expansion. Forty-six percent of those surveyed report business expansion as the main reason for hiring staff ? up from 37 percent in the previous quarter.

"The net hiring increase has risen steadily for the past three quarters," said Max Messmer, chairman and CEO of Robert Half International, the recruitment specialists. "Companies are still cautious in their approach to hiring, but many recognize additional accounting and finance personnel can help them address workloads postponed during the downturn."

The survey includes responses from 1,400 CFOs in corporates across the US.

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