CFOs Foresee Stability In U.S. Economy Despite Threat of Fiscal Cliff
Dec 18, 2012
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Nearly 70% of chief financial officers of United States companies believe the U.S. economy will either improve or remain stable during the next six months, according to the 2012 Fall CFO Survey from Grant Thornton LLP.

Survey results show that 30% of respondents believe the state of the U.S. economy will improve in the first half of 2013, while 39% believe it will remain stable. Of those surveyed, 31% said the economy will worsen, which is an increase of 10 points from the firm's 2012 Summer CFO Survey findings.

Other survey findings also point to expected stability in 2013: CFOs predict that industry financial prospects (42%), pricing or fees charged (51%), and head count (49%) will all remain the same in the next six months.

Despite the looming fiscal cliff:
* 53% of respondents say it will not affect the first six months of 2013 for their companies
* 60% of respondents do not consider the uncertainty of the fiscal cliff resolution an obstacle to making business decisions

"The turbulent years of the recent past have made businesses more adept at managing through economic uncertainty," said Stephen Chipman, CEO of Grant Thornton LLP. "It is reassuring to see that CFOs are confident that we will not take any steps backward in our progress."

Grant Thornton also found it encouraging that:
* 32% of respondents believe industry financial prospects will improve
* 34% believe pricing or fees charged will increase
* 32% say head count will increase

"While many companies don't foresee the economy taking a turn for the worse in the next six months, there is still an absence of improving economic conditions that are needed to propel our country into growth mode," Chipman said. "Only 34% of companies expect their financial prospects to improve in the next six months, which means that reluctance to increase hiring and make capital investments will continue to bog down our economy."

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