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Manufacturing CFOs in U.S. remain resilient despite economy, survey says


NEW YORK, N.Y. – Even in this economic downturn, half of manufacturing company CFOs recently surveyed expect their company’s revenues to increase in the coming year, and nearly four in 10 (37 percent) predict increased profit margins, according to an annual survey of U.S. manufacturing company CFOs commissioned by Bank of America Business Capital. What’s more, fifty-two percent of the CFOs say that the current state of the economy will have no impact on their growth plans.

Conducted by Granite Research Consulting from mid-August through
mid-October 2008, the Bank of America Business Capital 2009 CFO Outlook
surveys CFOs from 600 U.S. mid-size and large manufacturers with
revenues ranging from $25 million to $2 billion.
Manufacturing CFOs surveyed are evenly split on the question of whether
the U.S. economy will expand in 2009, with 31 percent believing it
will, and 32 percent that see the economy contracting. This compares
with 44 percent from last year’s survey who expected the economy to
expand, and 20 percent who saw it contracting.
In their own sectors, 25 percent of manufacturing CFOs forecast
expansion in 2009, down from 30 percent last year. The remaining CFOs
are almost evenly split between no change (38 percent) and contraction
(36 percent).
"Overall, these results reflect the severity of the current economic
downturn and the uncertainty about how long it will take to work our
way out of it," said Mickey Levy, chief economist for Bank of America.
"But, CFOs are taking necessary steps such as trimming inventories and
operating costs in order to remain competitive, as they try to weather
the storm."
Nearly seven in ten CFOs expect to raise the price of their products in
2009. This is a significant increase from the 56 percent predicting
price increases last year. Forty percent of CFOs expect to spend less
or refrain from making capital expenditures altogether in 2009 compared
to 27 percent last year.
For complete survey results, visit www.bankofamerica.com/businesscapital24.

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