[MARKETPU LS E]
Grant Thornton 2013 Spring CFO Survey Reveals
45 Percent of CFOs Expect an Improved Economy
During the past year, chief financial officers (CFOs) have grown
significantly more confident in the U.S. economy, according to the
2013 Spring CFO Survey from Grant Thornton LLP. The survey findings reveal that 45 percent of respondents believe the state of the
U.S. economy will improve during the next six months, compared
to just 31 percent in the fall and 25 percent last summer.
That confidence extends throughout the survey findings, with
44 percent of those surveyed predicting that industry financial
prospects will improve during the next six months, compared to 34
percent in the fall. Since last summer, the number of CFOs who believe the pricing or fees charged by their industry will increase in the
next six months has jumped seven percentage points to 37 percent.
In addition, when CFOs were asked about employment opportunities during the next six months, more than a third ( 40 percent) said
their company’s head count would increase, rising six percent from
“The results of our spring survey are encouraging — particularly
with respect to the uptick in expectations for improved financial
prospects,” says Stephen Chipman, chief executive officer of Grant
Thornton LLP. “Seemingly, steady improvements in key economic
indicators, including labor and housing, have helped stimulate
greater optimism among CFOs, at least in the near-term.”
According to the survey findings, almost two-thirds of CFOs
(65 percent) expect the average cost of an employee’s salary to
increase during the next 12 months, up from 59 percent in the fall.
The total cost of employee benefits, including bonuses (56 per-
cent), stock options (72 percent), 401(k) match (86 percent), and
other company-matched retirement contributions (81 percent) are
expected to remain unchanged from the year prior.
These findings come on the heels of similar data from the Grant
Thornton International Business Report, which found that optimism in the performance of the nation’s economy among U.S.
business leaders rose from - 4 percent in fourth quarter 2012 to 31
percent in first quarter 2013.
While increased optimism among CFOs was prevalent throughout the survey results, they still cite legislative bottlenecks as an
area of concern. Almost half of all CFOs surveyed ( 47 percent) say
they are unable to make a major decision that would allow their
company to grow because of uncertainty surrounding the funding
of the U.S. government. Thirty-one percent of respondents ranked
tax reform as the second greatest bottleneck.
About Grant Thornton LLP’s CFO Survey
Grant Thornton LLP conducts its CFO Survey twice a year with
CFOs and other senior financial executives across the United States.
The spring 2013 survey took place between April 3 and April 24,
with 1,259 CFOs and comptrollers participating. The survey has a
confidence interval of +/- 2.5% at a 95% confidence level. Ques-
tions ranged from the state of the economy to developments in
accounting and financial reporting. For more information on the
survey, visit www.Grant Thornton.com/CFOSurvey.
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