Duke CFO Global Business Outlook

Political Uncertainty Slows Nearly Half of U.S. Firms

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John Graham Discusses June 2016 Results

Nearly half of US CFOs say political uncertainty, fueled by the upcoming election and Washington dysfunction, is causing their companies to reduce hiring or spending plans for 2016, according to the latest Duke University/CFO Global Business Outlook.

“Companies take a big pause in the face of severe political risk, delaying or scaling down business spending plans until the risk dissipates,” said John Graham, a finance professor at Duke’s Fuqua School of Business and director of the survey. Some 47 percent of U.S. firms say political concerns will see them pull back on spending or hiring.

European business leaders overwhelmingly are against a British exit from the European Union but rate the chance Great Britain will vote to leave the EU next week at 42 percent on average.

CFO Optimism Index: Optimism about the American economy remained steady this quarter. Financial executives rate the outlook unchanged at 59, in line with the long-run average.

Survey Results
June 2016

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graphs showing US optimism and international optimism