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Finance execs' optimism highest since 2007

Posted March 9, 2011

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— Financial executives at U.S. firms are growing increasingly optimistic about the economy, and they expec “robust growth” in earnings and capital spending, according to a new survey from Duke University and CFO Magazine.

The optimism of the chief financial officers is at its highest since early 2007 before the global recession struck.

The CFOs project an 18 percent growth in earnings with dividends climbing 14 percent. That spike in dividends is the biggest in the 15-year history of the survey.

Capital spending is expected to increase 12 percent.

Despite the positive views, however, the executives say the increasing in hiring is likely to be slow. Jobs are forecast to increase 1.2 percent.

A survey from Manpower on Tuesday reported that a net 8 percent of US firms nationally were planning to increase hiring this spring. In the Triangle, however, hiring is expected to be flat. 

Another concern for CFOs is inflation.

In some job categories, the executives said talent is in strong demand.

Skilled workers most needed are: engineering, product development, information technology, finance and announcing.

The overall findings in the survey are encouraging, said John Graham, the director of the survey who is a professor of finance at Duke’s Fuqua School of Business.

“Increasing optimism is good news for the U.S. economy going forward,”Graham said. “Historically, we have found that increases in optimism lead to stronger GDP growth, spending and employment within a year.”

The survey, which is based on data gathered through March 3, included 854 chief financial officers from both private and public companies.

For more details from the survey, read here.

 

19 Comments

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  • Bill Brasky Mar 10, 2011

    "The fact unemployment is still woefully high"

    Have you ever heard the term pessimist? There is reality, then there is fantasy world. In a fantasy world unemployment would of dropped back down to 5% average in a matter of months. In reality every economist(Republican paid, and Democrat) have stated over and over again that unemployment could take 5 to 8 years to recover back to normal levels.

  • Bill Brasky Mar 10, 2011

    "The fact unemployment is still woefully high, and the DOW is nowhere near its 2008 high, are probably a good indications the economy is still struggling."

    Are you referring to when the DOW dropped from 14,000 down to 8,000 in a matter of days. Why aren't you giving Obama any credit for bringing it back up to 12,000? Or is it because there is a "D" next to his name...

    Listen, I'd give Republican politicians praise if they contributed in any way to upsurge in our present day economy, the only problem with that is they haven't done anything constructive just stonewalling since 2009, and it just so happens our economy has been on an upswing since October 2009...interesting turn of events.

  • Worland Mar 9, 2011

    The fact unemployment is still woefully high, and the DOW is nowhere near its 2008 high, are probably a good indications the economy is still struggling.

    The cost of food has been steadily climbing. Grains have doubled in price since last year. Inflation is here, and it will likely get much worse.

  • GWALLY Mar 9, 2011

    ..."data gathered through March 3, included 854 chief financial officers from both private and public companies..."

    853 did not see the housing bubble about to burst (cause they helped create it...!) or the recession coming before it hit them between the eyes..!! However...NOW they are "experts"..??

  • Bill Brasky Mar 9, 2011

    You got it...Smoke and Mirrors. Great talking point. The fact that unemployment going down doesn't mean anything, or the fact that the DOW is up over 4000 points in the past two years doesn't mean anything...no just smoke and mirrors, gotcha.

  • Weaker Pelosi Mar 9, 2011

    oldrwizr: Please don't make me lose my lunch.

  • oldrwizr Mar 9, 2011

    Well duh. We got rid of that dingleberry in the White House and put a real leader in there. We the enlightened folk of the country expected a lot and O has delivered.

  • IAMAmerican Mar 9, 2011

    yaaaahhhhhh!!!!! It's about time! I am sure it's because of our President and the powers that be.......................NOT!!!!!!!!!!! LOL

  • recycled junk Mar 9, 2011

    lol the right wing extremists are very upset that everything isn't doom and gloom...

    What does it say about a person or a group that they want things to get worse or stay bad just for political gain....traitors to the United States of America IMO....

  • greg11 Mar 9, 2011

    That's great for rich people, but means nothing to average Americans. Liberals really want everyone to believe that things
    are improving, but it's all smoke and mirrors.

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