CFO Survey Redux – This Time Less Optimism

by Erin McCune on July 3, 2006

in Research Round Up

CFO Magazine's quarterly Business Outlook Survey results for the 2nd Quarter are less optimistic than the survey I quoted on Friday. The CFO Magazine survey reflects are larger pool of respondents (over three times as many). Key findings are summarized here (quotations are in italics):

Reasons for concern:

  • According to the latest Duke University/CFO Business Outlook
    Survey, just 24 percent of CFOs are more optimistic about the direction
    of the U.S. economy. That figure is well down from last quarter, when
    42 percent of finance chiefs had a good feeling about where things were
  • Among the top concerns listed by CFOs is the possibility of rising salaries and wages due to inflation.
  • CFOs are also worried about rising interest rates and fuel costs.

Good news, too:

  • Almost half of the respondents say they are optimistic about the future
    of their own companies. And while average forecasts have declined
    slightly, CFOs are still looking for earnings growth north of 10
  • Capital-spending expectations have increased in each of the last four
    quarters. "CFOs are telling us that their companies can ride it out for
    now, but that we are a couple of steps closer to the danger zone for
    the U.S. economy," says John Graham, a finance professor at Duke's
    Fuqua School of Business.

Details (and lots of graphs) at

Business Outlook Survey (2nd Quarter 2006)
Joseph McCafferty
CFO Magazine
July 01, 2006

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