CFOs Believe in 31% Chance of U.S. Recession in 2016 - Duke CFO Global Business Outlook

May 3, 2016

A recent article in CFO Magazine reveals that the first quarter of 2016 saw a marked increase in apprehension and nervousness about the U.S. economy. In a quarterly survey of 1,600 CFOs by the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University, CFOs, on average, believe that there is a 31% chance that the U.S. economy will be in a recession by the end of the year.

 

This is almost double the percentage among CFOs surveyed almost 10 months ago.

 

“U.S. financial executives cited four main concerns in their responses—the slowing of the Chinese economy, political turmoil in the United States, the possibility of a stock market decline and the low cost of oil. Almost 60 percent of the country's CFOs polled cited the Chinese economy's lower growth rates as a significant risk.”

 

‘The reduction of that growth has had a huge impact around the world in trade partners like the United States,” [John] Graham [director of the survey] explained. “It’s had a huge ripple effect throughout the economy.’”

 

Other excerpts from the survey include:

 

“CFOs list the difficulty in attracting and retaining qualified employees as one of their top three overall business concerns.”

 

“Capital spending is expected to increase just 2 percent over the next year, down from 2.5 percent last quarter and the 5 percent growth predicted in June.”

 

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