On March 7 the March Duke/CFO Magazine Global Business Outlook Survey (pdf) was released. It contains a variety of statistics regarding how CFOs view business and economic conditions.
In this CFO Survey, I found the following to be notable excerpts:
Earnings and capital spending are both expected to rise more than 7 percent.
The employment outlook has brightened, with U.S. finance executives expecting to increase their number of domestic full-time employees by 2.1 percent.
“The expected increase in employment is a welcome improvement over last quarter’s 1.5 percent forecast growth rate,” said Kate O’Sullivan, director of content development at CFO Magazine. “It indicates that national unemployment should fall below 8 percent in 2012.”
The U.S. CFO Optimism Index, in which CFOs rate their confidence in the economy on a scale of 0 to 100, increased from 53 last quarter to 59 this quarter, equaling the index’s long-term average.
CFOs cite weak consumer demand, intense pressure on profit margins, and the difficulty in attracting and retaining qualified employees among the top concerns for their companies.
The CFO survey contains the Optimism Index chart, showing U.S. Optimism (with regard to the economy) at 59, as seen below:
It should be interesting to see how well the CFOs predict business and economic conditions going forward. I discussed various aspects of this, and the importance of these predictions, in the July 9 2010 post titled “The Business Environment”.
(past posts on CEO and CFO Surveys can be found under the “CFO and CEO Confidence” tag)
I post various economic forecasts because I believe they should be carefully monitored. However, as those familiar with this blog are aware, I do not necessarily agree with many of the consensus estimates and much of the commentary in these forecast surveys.
The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation
SPX at 1402.89 as this post is written