September 2013 Duke/CFO Magazine Global Business Outlook Survey – Notable Excerpts

On September 10 the September 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 the most notable excerpts:

In the next year, earnings are expected to increase by about 13 percent among public U.S. companies.

“Even with numerous risks and uncertainties affecting the global economy, U.S. firms have been able to protect the bottom line, operating at near-record profit levels,” said Graham. “By year-end 2014, U.S. firms expect return on assets to jump above 10 percent for the first time since 2007.”


The U.S. Business Optimism Index fell slightly to 58 on a scale from 0 to 100, just below the long-run average index value of 59. Latin American CFOs are the most optimistic in the world (61, down from 66 last quarter and 69 two quarters ago). European optimism rebounded to 56 (up from 53), followed by Asia 54 (down from 62). African (53) CFOs are the least optimistic about the economic future over the next year.

The CFO survey contains the Optimism Index chart, showing U.S. Optimism (with regard to the economy) at 58, as seen below:

(click on image to enlarge)

Duke CFO September 2013 - Optimism_US_2013Q3

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 1655.45 as this post is written