Duke University/CFO Magazine
Business Outlook Survey
Summer 2006

No individual firms are identified and only aggregate data are made public. Please respond by Sunday, September 10. 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
   Litigation
   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)
   % Technology spending
   % Capital spending
   % Marketing/advertising spending
   % Number of domestic employees
   % Number of foreign/off-shore
                      outsourced employees
   % Wages/Salaries
   % Health care costs
   % Earnings
   % Inventory
   % Cash on the balance sheet
   % Dividends

    M&A activity

5. How strong do you anticipate demand from your own customers will be over the next six months?
  Very strong
  Somewhat strong
  Neutral
  Somewhat weak
  Very weak

6. There are some indications that U.S. consumer demand may weaken. If consumer demand weakens, does your firm plan to take any steps in anticipation? [Check all that apply]
  No
  Reduce capital spending
  Reduce employment
  Scale back orders from suppliers
  Other    

7a. Do you think that the Federal Reserve went too far in raising interest rates 425 basis points?
  Yes
  No
  Not sure

7b. Do you think that the Federal Reserve's 425 basis point tightening strategy will be successful in reducing the rate of inflation?
  Yes
  No
  Not sure

7c. What should the Federal Reserve do over the next quarter to interest rates?
  Reduce
  Do not change
  Increase

8. What is the probability that the U.S. Economy will be in a recession 12 months from now?
    % chance of recession (e.g., 0%, 50%, etc.)

9a. Please check here if your company or its immediate predecessors did not exist five years ago.  
 
% of revenue
 
Before September 11, 2001, approximately how large were your company's annual direct costs for security, as a percentage of revenue?  (Please include costs for long-term projects meant to protect the company from major threats or business disruptions, such as establishment of satellite business operations, physical security enhancements, or investments in computer software programs.)    %
   
Today, how large are those direct costs for security?    %
   
Today, how large are the indirect costs of terrorism on your company? (Please include costs such as lost productivity or reduced consumer spending due to terror fears.)   %
   

9b. How has your company been affected by terrorism or the threat of terrorism? (Check all that apply)
  There has been little to no impact
  There have been physical act(s) of terrorism on our firm or firms in our industry
  Fear of terrorism hurts our firm (e.g., terror fears have affected our customers or have made our
         company less inclined to invest)
  Increased infrastructure and or software spending, such as for the creation of satellite operations
  Carrying more inventory in case of disruption
  Increased planning for business disruptions
  Increased hedging of key inputs
  Insurance for acts of terrorism
  Insurance for business interruptions resulting from terrorism
  Reduced air travel
  Diversifying into other lines of business as a hedge
  Added employment positions, such as head of security
  High cost of oil and energy
  Other    

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

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

Check here if the threat of terrorism has benefited (on net) your firm.  
  Write your industry: 

10. On August 28, 2006 the annual yield on 10-yr treasury bonds was 4.8%. 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. Primary Customers
       0%
       1-24%
       25-50%
       More than 50%
  Consumers
  Businesses
  Government
  Other    
  h. Your job title (e.g., CFO, Asst. Treasurer, etc):


       

Duke University, 2006