Daily News: March 14, 2013

Survey: CFOs Reveal Concerns About Economy

Despite improvements in confidence, CFOs revealed significant concerns about the U.S. economy, including a 33% chance the U.S. will slip back into recession in the next 12 months, according to the latest Duke University/CFO Magazine Global Business Outlook quarterly survey of 1,143 CFOs.

Nearly 40% of U.S companies plan to make an acquisition in the next 12 months. Merger and acquisition activity should be especially robust among manufacturing and finance firms, according to survey results.

“One-fourth of U.S. company acquisitions will involve the purchase of foreign assets,” said John Graham, a professor of finance at Duke’s Fuqua School of Business and director of the survey. “Foreign targets are primarily located in Europe and Asia.”

U.S. companies plan to increase business spending by 5.3% this year, double the projection from last quarter. About half of this spending will be to replace existing assets and about half for net new investment.
Full-time domestic employment is expected to rise 2.2% in the next 12 months. If all else held constant, this would lead to a meaningful reduction in the U.S. unemployment rate, said Graham.

For detailed survey results click here.