Thursday, April 18, 2019

April 2019 Duke/CFO Global Business Outlook Survey – Notable Excerpts

On April 17, 2019 the April 2019 Duke/CFO Global Business Outlook was released.  It contains a variety of statistics regarding how CFOs view business and economic conditions.
In this CFO survey press release, I found the following to be the most notable excerpts – although I don’t necessarily agree with them:
Sixty-seven percent of U.S. CFOs believe that the U.S. will be in recession by the third quarter of 2020, and 84 percent believe that a recession will have begun by the first quarter of 2021. The survey found 38 percent of CFOs predicting recession by the first quarter of 2020.
The survey asked the CFOs which economic variables will provide the most accurate indication that their own firms are experiencing a slow-down. Almost half (47 percent) of CFOs said they consider GDP growth to be one of the three most important indicators of their own firm’s fortunes. Consumer spending (39 percent), commodity prices (31 percent) and interest rates (29 percent) were also highly ranked indicators.
CFOs expect their capital spending and revenue to increase by 5 percent over the next 12 months. CFOs predict hiring to increase by 2 percent and wages to grow by 3 percent.
The CFO survey contains two Optimism Index charts, with the bottom chart showing U.S. Optimism (with regard to the economy) at 65, as seen below:

Duke CFO Optimism chart

It should be interesting to see how well the CFOs predict business and economic conditions going forward.   I discussed past various aspects of this, and the importance of these predictions, in the July 9, 2010 post titled “The Business Environment”.
(past posts on CEO and CFO surveys can be found under the “CFO and CEO Confidence” label)
I post various economic forecasts because I believe they should be carefully monitored.  However, as those familiar with this site are aware, I do not necessarily agree with many of the consensus estimates and much of the commentary in these forecast surveys.
The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation
SPX at 2900.45 as this post is written

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