Optimism about U.S. economic recovery

There is encouraging optimism about U.S. economic recovery and opportunities for businesses among Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) in the U.S., according to the latest survey conducted by Baruch College’s Zicklin School of Business and Financial Executives International (FEI).

Even with the increased costs and risks associated with healthcare, CFOs who responded to the “CFO Quarterly Global Outlook Survey” were more confident about the U.S. economic recovery and business opportunities.

There was a 3.6 percent increase in this quarter’s optimism index for American CFOs compared to the previous quarter (70.7 versus to 67.1 respectively).

In addition, around half of the respondents believe that the U.S. is on the road to recovery, with confidence toward the U.S. economy increasing from 58.5 in Q1 to 61.2 this quarter.

This appears to be in contrast to the American public’s confidence about their future financial situation. A recent poll revealed that the majority of the American public are not optimistic about their future financial position.

The CFOs also expressed concerns about economic recovery on an international level. The results of the poll reveal that many CFOs are more confident about the global economy, with the index score increasing from 50.8 to 53.9.

Other CFO concerns are listed below:

  • 73 percent do not think their business will be affected by slower growth of the Chinese and Indian economies.
  • 55 percent believe the Japanese government stimulus will fail to work
  • 44 percent do not expect the European economy to improve until at least 2015

Linda Allen, Professor of Economics and Finance at the Zicklin School of Business, Baruch College, said:

“The results of this quarter’s survey show that overall economic confidence among financial leaders in the U.S. has improved. Particularly encouraging is the attitude towards hiring: 61% of CFOs plan to hire within the next six months, and employee compensation is expected to increase by 3.5%.”

Marie Hollein, President and CEO, Financial Executives International, added:

“Previous surveys have shown reduction or minimal growth in the number of U.S. CFOs with plans to hire additional staff. However, the results of this quarter’s survey could indicate this trend is turning around. It is hopeful to know that employment opportunities are expected to increase for professionals across a variety of levels, and that healthcare costs have not deterred many businesses from taking on full-time staff members.”

Signs of economic recovery

There are a number of signs that the U.S. is on track for economic recovery. The US Labor Department recently reported that the jobless rate decreased to 7.4% compared to 8.2% in July 2012 and revenue for many American companies are on the rise.