Duke University/CFO Magazine
Business Outlook Survey
Spring 2006

No individual firms are identified and only aggregate data are made public. Please respond by Thursday, June 1. 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 corporation faces? (rank #1, #2, #3)
   Cost of labor (wages, salaries, bonuses)
   Cost of fuel
   Cost of non-fuel commodities
   Health care costs
   Interest rates
   Regulation
   Political stability
   Skilled labor shortage
   Consumer demand
   Currency values
   Foreign competition
   Budget deficit
   Current account deficit
   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)
   % Technology spending
   % Number of domestic employees
   % Number of foreign/off-shore
                      outsourced employees
   % Wages/Salaries
   % Health care costs
   % Capital spending
   % Earnings
   % Inventory
   % Cash on the balance sheet
   % Dividends

    M&A activity

5. Based on what you see with your own customers, how do you think consumer demand will look at the start of 2007?
  Very strong
  Somewhat strong
  Neutral
  Somewhat weak
  Very weak

6. By year-end 2006, what will be the core rate of consumer price inflation (excluding fuel and food) in your country?
  0% 1% 1.5% 2% 2.5% 3% 3.5% 4% 5% Other %  
   

7a. What portion of employment cost increases do you pass on in your final goods prices?
  0% 25% 50% 75% 100% Other %  
   

7b. What portion of commodity price increases do you pass on in your final goods prices?
  0% 25% 50% 75% 100% Other %  
   


Currently the price of oil is $69/barrel, the US Federal Funds rate is 5.0%, and the core rate of consumer price inflation (excluding food and oil) is 2.3%.

8a. At what point would the following items moderately hurt your firm's bottom line? (choose best answer)

Price of oil per barrel:
  $55 $60 $65 $70 $75 $80 $85 Other $ Does not
affect our
bottom line
 
U.S. Federal Funds rate:
  4.5% 5% 5.25% 5.5% 5.75% 6% 6.5% 7% Other % Does not
affect our
bottom line
 
Core rate of consumer price inflation (excluding food and oil):
  1% 1.5% 2% 2.5% 3% 3.5% 4% 4.5% 5% Other % Does not
affect our
bottom line
 

8b. At what point would the following items greatly hurt your firm's bottom line? (choose best answer)

Price of oil per barrel:
  $55 $60 $65 $70 $75 $80 $85 Other $ Does not
affect our
bottom line
 
U.S. Federal Funds rate:
  4.5% 5% 5.25% 5.5% 5.75% 6% 6.5% 7% Other % Does not
affect our
bottom line
 
Core rate of consumer price inflation (excluding food and oil):
  1% 1.5% 2% 2.5% 3% 3.5% 4% 4.5% 5% Other % Does not
affect our
bottom line
 

9a. On a scale of 0 to 100, what impact is the threat of terrorism is having on your business? (0 means no impact, 100 means maximum negative impact)
    0 - 100

9b. What number on this scale would indicate that the threat of terrorism is affecting your profitability? (If your answer in A is greater than this answer, it means that the threat of terrorism is affecting your profitability).
    0 - 100

10. On May 22, 2006 the annual yield on 10-yr treasury bonds was 5.0%. 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, 2006