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Grant Thornton Survey: Optimism Plummets in National CFO Survey; Hiring Outlook Dims

November 08, 2011, 07:30 AM
Filed Under: Economy
Related: Grant Thornton

A national survey of CFOs, conducted by Grant Thornton LLP, finds that optimism is plummeting, as evidence by the increased number of CFOs that report that their companies are scaling back hiring amid worry about the cost of health care and other benefits.

Less than a quarter of CFOs (22%) said that their companies plan on increasing headcount in the next six months – a drop of nearly 50% from six months earlier. And when asked about pricing pressures, CFOs ranked “employee benefits (e.g., health care, pensions)” as their greatest concern. Three-quarters of CFOs also report that they expect to see an increase in the cost of health care benefits – both to their companies as well as to their employees.

“Continuing economic stagnation continues to discourage investment geared to growth and expansion,” said Stephen Chipman, Grant Thornton LLP’s CEO. “Ongoing high levels of uncertainty weigh heavily on business leaders today, stifling growth strategies in this volatile economic environment.”

Grant Thornton LLP, the U.S. member firm of Grant Thornton International Ltd, conducted the biannual national survey from Sept. 27 through Oct. 12, 2011, with 254 U.S. CFOs and senior comptrollers participating.

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