Duke University/CFO Magazine
Business Outlook Survey
Spring 2005

No individual firms are identified and only aggregate data are made public. Please respond by Sunday, May 29. 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 are the top three concerns your company faces in 2005? (rank #1, #2, #3)
   World economic stability
   Availability/cost of capital
   High fuel prices
   High non-fuel commodity prices
   Political risk
   Reduced pricing power
   Inflation
   Increased interest rates
   Increased regulation
   Salaries and wages
   Health care costs
   Distribution problems
   Increased global competition
   U.S. dollar weakness
   Terrorism
   Other:

4. 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)
   % Advertising/Marketing spending
   % Technology spending
   % Number of domestic employees
   % Number of foreign/off-shore
                          outsourced employees
   % Wages/Salaries
   % Dividends
   % Health care costs
   % Capital spending
   % Earnings
   % Revenues
    M&A activity

5. What are your hiring plans for the next two quarters?


Third quarter of 2005
 

  Workforce reduction
  No hiring
  Small increase
  Moderate increase
  Large increase


Fourth
quarter of 2005
 

  Workforce reduction
  No hiring
  Small increase
  Moderate increase
  Large increase

6. What is the main reason for price increases by your firm, if at all? (leave blank if no price increases):
  Rising energy and raw material costs
  Rising labor costs
  Less competitive pressure
  Weaker dollar
  Other    

7. If the People's Republic of China were to allow its currency to float freely, how would that affect your company's financial performance?
  Greatly strengthen our performance
  Moderately strengthen our performance
  No significant effect
  Moderately weaken our performance
  Greatly weaken our performance

8. What should be the top three priorities of the U.S. Congress over the next twelve months? (rank #1, #2, #3)
   Tax Code overhaul
   Changes to Medicare
   Changes to Social Security
   Lowering the U.S. budget deficit
   Lowering the U.S. trade deficit

9. Wall Street expects the Federal Reserve to raise the federal funds rate to about 4% by the end of the year. Would an increase to 4% slow economic growth
  Not really Yes, a little Yes, a
moderate
amount
Yes, a lot
of your firm?
of the U.S. economy?

10. On May 24, 2005 the annual yield on 10-yr treasury bonds was 4.1%. 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:

          %

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
       $5-$9.9 billion
       More than $10 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 U.S.
       Mountain U.S.
       Midwest U.S.
       South Central U.S.
       South Atlantic U.S.
       Pacific U.S.
       Canada
       Central/Latin America
       Europe
       Asia
      Public, NYSE
      Public, NASDAQ/AMEX
      Private
      Government
      Nonprofit
  f. Foreign Sales g. Your job title (e.g., CFO, Asst. Treasurer, etc):
       0%
       1-24%
       25-50%
       More than 50%
       

Duke University, 2005