Daily News: March 19, 2012

Tatum Survey of Financial Execs Shows U.S. Recovery Back on Track

First-quarter results from a recent survey of financial executives, conducted by professional services firm Tatum, reveals an overall improvement in business conditions, along with a positive shift in expectations for the second quarter. As of March 1, 39% of executives reported improving business conditions, as opposed to the 33% that stated improvements in February, and 32% in January.

The latest report continues an optimistic trend that began back in November of 2011. The results have not been this encouraging for almost a year.

“After three years of fiscal and monetary stimuli, our survey suggests that the economy is moving in a more positive direction,” said Sam Norwood, senior partner and editor of the Tatum Survey. “The theme we see this month is that the uncertainly around a broadening economic recovery seems to be dissipating. For the fifth consecutive month, respondents reported improving business conditions over the prior 30 days.”

The Tatum Survey of Business Conditions examines key indicators such as hiring and capital expenditures and looks at both the past 30 days and expectations for the upcoming 60 days. Results in the first quarter showed:

  • Tepid but positive gains in new commitments to capital expenditures

  • Modest employment gains, with more hiring increases expected

  • Continued improvement in financing conditions

  • Increase in order backlogs, with a significant increase expected

    “The survey, which is a snapshot of the business climate throughout a broad base of industries and companies across the country, indicates that despite global economic uncertainty, the U.S. business conditions have not only stabilized, they are getting better,” said Norwood.