The latest Duke University/CFO Magazine Global Business Outlook Survey showed that optimism among CFOs about the U.S. economy is now above the long-run average for only the second time since 2007.
The survey has been conducted for 69 consecutive quarters and spans six continents, making it the world’s longest running and most comprehensive research on senior finance executives.
The U.S. Business Optimism Index rebounded to 61 on a scale from 0 to 100, well above last quarter’s reading of 55 and also above the long-run average index value of 59. Latin American CFOs are the most optimistic in the world (66, down from 69 last quarter), followed by Asian business leaders (62). African (56) and European (53, same as last quarter) CFOs are less optimistic about the future.
Despite the jump in optimism about the overall economy, U.S. companies plan only moderate increases in business spending (planned increase of 6% over the next 12 months, up from 5% last quarter) and full-time domestic employment(up 1%, not enough to significantly affect the unemployment rate.)
“It’s noteworthy that, in the U.S., CFOs’ perceptions of their own companies’ prospects are remaining stable, but aren’t surging forward as quickly as their perceptions of the broader economy,” said Celina Rogers, vice president of research at CFO Publishing. “This may be an indication that companies are being cautious about their own plans until they have more assurance that the economic improvement they expect to see will last.”
For complete survey results click here.