Wednesday, March 21, 2012

CFOs Present Cautious Financial Outlook

Financial executives see gloom overseas, but a brighter spot in the US.

For the US, the good news is we’re not in Europe. While CFOs worldwide are pessimistic, those in this country had higher growth expectations for their businesses than their European counterparts did.

European CFOs anticipate an unemployment rate in Europe of 11.7 percent this year, up nearly a full point, and almost 40 percent of UK CFOs consider it highly probable that one or more member states will leave the euro zone this year, according to a Deloitte survey.

In this country, the quarterly “CFO Outlook Survey,” conducted by Financial Executives International (FEI) and Baruch College at CUNY, found that “US CFOs now see continuing improvement in unemployment rates, which they expect to drop to 8.1 percent within a year.” At the same time, the executives reported that concerns about local economic growth and revenue dampened the confidence of CFOs in the US economic climate.

A new survey by AICPA revealed a more optimistic view about the US economy among CPA decision-makers in the United States. In the “Business and Industry U.S. Economic Outlook Survey,” 43 percent of those surveyed indicated optimism for the economy, more than doubling the percentage from the fourth quarter of 2011. Optimists outnumbered pessimists by nearly two to one in the AICPA survey.

Deloitte’s North America “CFO Signals” survey finds US CFOs are “still pessimistic,” but making positive projections for revenue, earnings, capital investments and employment growth. Perhaps the only viable strategy, among all the conflicting surveys, is to work to streamline your company’s operations, and make your own numbers strong.

Kirk Shearer
800-989-0054 x103

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