In Depth Analysis: CalculatedRisk Newsletter on Real Estate (Ad Free) Read it here.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

CFO Survey: No Economic Recovery Until Late 2009

by Calculated Risk on 3/13/2008 11:02:00 AM

From the Duke Global CFO Survey: Recession in 2008, no relief until 2009

•54 percent of CFOs say the U.S. is now in recession, and 24 percent of the remaining CFOs say there is a high likelihood of a recession this year. CFOs do not expect the economy to recover until late 2009.

•Optimism reached its lowest point since the optimism index launched six years ago. Pessimists outnumber optimists by a nine-to-one margin, with 72 percent of CFOs more pessimistic and only 8 percent more optimistic about the U.S. economy than they were last quarter.

•Weak consumer demand and turmoil in the credit and housing markets are the top macro-concerns of CFOs. The high cost of labor ranked as the top internal concern.

•Credit conditions have directly hurt 35 percent of companies, through decreased availability of credit and higher interest rates (up 118 basis points on average). Sixty percent of firms have postponed expansion plans in response to credit market unrest.

•Capital spending is expected to increase only 3.3 percent. Price inflation is expected to rise 3 percent over the next 12 months.


The outlook for the U.S. economy is dismal. Only 13 percent of CFOs think the U.S. economy will turn the corner and begin to rebound in 2008. Another 40 percent say the rebound will occur in the first half of 2009, while 47 percent say recovery will occur more than 15 months from now.

“Our survey started showing evidence of an economic slowdown a year ago,” said John R. Graham, director of the survey and a finance professor at Duke’s Fuqua School of Business. “Today, not only do the CFOs say we are already in recession, they predict a prolonged economic downturn. The news from CFOs is pretty grim.”
CFOs sure are bearish!