DRAFT 3/29/01



Carol Crane                                       Chris Allen                               Jim Gray

TowersGroup                                    FEI                                           Duke-Fuqua

212.354.5020                                     973.898.4658                          919.660.2935

carolcrane@towerspr.com               callen@fei.org                         jigray@mail.duke.edu






NEW YORK, March 29, 2001— Corporate America will continue to pump money into technology.  According to a poll of Chief Financial Officers, two-thirds of their companies will increase technology spending over the next 12 months.  The weighted average increase will be 4.4% (“weighted average” meaning weighted by company revenues).


These are findings from the most recent quarterly “CFO Corporate Outlook Survey” conducted by Financial Executives International and Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.  Participating in the survey were 153 CFOs at companies with median revenues of $100 million to $500 million.  Revenues at 15% of the participating companies were over $1 billion.  Of the total companies, half were manufacturers.


“Technology spending is defying gravity,” John Graham, finance professor at Duke University's Fuqua School of Business and the director of the survey.  “Despite companies’ almost across-the-board attempt to control expenses, technology is not an area where they’re cutting back.”


Technology was one of the few spending areas that a majority of companies elected to increase.  For example, 51% of companies represented in the survey will cut capital expenditures or hold them steady.  Regarding overtime, across all firms the average cost is expected to be down 8.5%.  Further, while wages are expected to increase 3.9% at the average firm (down from an expected growth of 7.2% in last quarters’ survey), 31% of companies plan to reduce employment this year.



The CFO Corporate Outlook Survey is conducted quarterly by FEI and Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.  Each survey polls a cross section of more than 5000 U.S. companies on macro and company specific economic and business issues.  153 CFOs participated in the current survey, which was completed on March 19, 2001.  Complete results of this survey and those of prior quarters are available on the Internet at www.duke.edu/%7ejgraham.


Financial Executives International (FEI) is the leading advocate for the views of corporate financial management.  Its 15,000 members hold policy-making positions as chief financial officers, treasurers, and controllers.  FEI enhances member professional development through peer networking, career planning services, conferences, publications, and special reports and research.  Members participate in the activities of 86 chapters, 75 of which are in the United States and 11 in Canada. For more information about FEI, visit www.fei.org.


The Fuqua School of Business at Duke University was founded in 1970. Fuqua’s mission is to educate thoughtful business leaders worldwide and to promote the advancement of business management through research. For more information, visit www.fuqua.duke.edu.