Duke University Business Outlook Survey
September 2004

All information will be used only in aggregate form. No individual data are recorded or made public. Please respond by midnight, Sunday, September 12. If you have any questions about this survey, please contact us.

 

1. Are you more or less optimistic about the U.S. economy compared to last quarter?
More optimistic
Less optimistic
No change
Rate your optimism about the U.S. economy on a scale from 0-100, with 0 being the least optimistic and 100 being the most optimistic.

2. Are you more or less optimistic about the financial prospects for your company compared to last quarter?
More optimistic
Less optimistic
No change
Rate your optimism about the financial prospects for your own company on a scale from 0-100, with 0 being the least optimistic and 100 being the most optimistic.

3. What do you think annualized U.S. GDP growth will be during the next 12 months? (e.g., +3%, -2%, etc.)
%

4. On September 7, 2004 the annual yield on 10-yr treasury bonds was 4.25%. Please complete the following:

a. Over the next 10 years, I expect the average annual S&P 500 return will be:


Worst Case: There is a 1-in-10
chance the actual average
return will be less than:

             %
Best Guess:
I expect the
return to be:

%
Best Case: There is a 1-in-10
chance the actual average
return will be greater than:

          %

b. During the next year, I expect the S&P 500 return will be:

Worst Case: There is a 1-in-10
chance the actual return will
be less than:

             %
Best Guess:
I expect the
return to be:

%
Best Case: There is a 1-in-10
chance the actual return will
be greater than:

          %

5. Relative to the previous 12 months, what will be your company's PERCENTAGE CHANGE during the next 12 months? (e.g., +3%, -2%, etc.)  [Leave blank if not applicable]
%  Prices of your products
%  Productivity (output per hour worked)
%  Overtime
%  Advertising/Marketing spending
%  Health care costs
%  Inventory
%  Number of employees
%  Number of foreign/off-shore
                       outsourced employees
%  Wages/Salaries
%  M&A activity
%  Dividends
%  Technology spending
%  Capital spending
%  Earnings
%  Revenues
%  R&D spending

6. What are the top three risks your corporation faces over the next 12 months (indicate top 3 risks using 1, 2, 3)
   Inflation
   Increased interest rates
   Wage increases
   Situation in Iraq
   Domestic terrorism
   Price of oil
   U.S. exchange rate
   Foreign competition
   Health care costs
   Presidential election
   Control of Senate
   Consumer spending/demand
   U.S. economic growth
   Other   


7. Fuel costs have risen considerably this year. Has your company implemented strategies to reduce your level of fuel consumption? (For example, changes to fleet vehicles, alternative fuel sources, etc.)
No
Yes
If yes, what changes?

Last quarter you helped us analyze the corporate implications of political risk. While we certainly hope these scenarios never occur, this analysis should help business and policy leaders in their risk analysis and preparation.

8. If there were an act of domestic terrorism before the presidential election, how would this affect consumer demand for your product, and hiring and capital spending at your company? Answer for each of seven categories listed below.

  Down Considerably      Down      No Effect      Up

  Consumer Demand

Corporate Hiring

Capital Spending


Symbolic target 
(e.g. World Bank, U.N.)

Heartland target
(shopping mall in medium city)

Transportation infrastructure
(airlines, trains)

Energy infrastructure
(nuclear, conventional, refining)

Corporate infrastructure
(large bank or financial center)

Assassination
(Congress, Judicial, Exec. branch)

Weapons of Mass Destruction
(nuclear, dirty, chemical, biological)


Please check one from each category that best describes your company:

     a. Industry

       Retail/Wholesale
       Mining/Construction
       Manufacturing
       Transportation/Energy
       Communications/Media
      Tech [Software/Biotech]
      Banking/Finance/Insurance
      Service/Consulting
      Healthcare/Pharmaceutical
      Other  
  b. Sales Revenue  c. Number of Employees
       Less than $25 million
       $25-$99 million
       $100-$499 million
       $500-$999 million
       $1-$4.9 billion
       More than $5 billion
      Fewer than 100
      100-499
      500-999
      1,000-2,499
      2,500-4,999
      5,000-9,999
      More than 10,000
  d. Headquarters   e. Ownership
       Northeast
       Mountain
       Midwest
       South Central
       South Atlantic
       Pacific
       Outside of U.S.
      Public, NYSE
      Public, NASDAQ/AMEX
      Private
  f. Foreign Sales g. Your job title (e.g., CFO, Asst. Treasurer, etc):
       0%
       1-24%
       25-50%
       More than 50%
       

Duke University, 2004