U.S. CFOs Worry Even More About the Eurozone Than Do European CFOs
Both American and European CFOs worry about the fate of the Eurozone and its currency. But U.S. financial executives are even more anxious than their counterparts across the Atlantic, according to a just-released survey conducted by Financial Executives International and Baruch College's Zicklin School of Business.
Wed, February 29, 2012
CFOworld — Both American and European CFOs worry about the fate of the Eurozone and its currency. But U.S. financial executives are even more anxious than their counterparts across the Atlantic, according to a just-released survey conducted by Financial Executives International and Baruch College's Zicklin School of Business.
Its "CFO Quarterly Outlook" -- which tackles traditional, recurring business issues, but also looks beyond to examine feelings about major economic concerns of the moment --- in the latest edition considered CFO views on everything from oil prices to their thoughts about the U.S. presidential race.
Interestingly, CFOs believe that crude oil prices, which were $99.58 a barrel between Jan. 30 and Feb. 9, when the survey was taken, will not change substantially in the next six months. The overwhelming majority (84% of U.S. CFOs and 87% of European CFOs) believe the price will stay around $90-$110. [See the full survey results here.]
Romney the Top Presidential Choice
Expressing their preferences in the 2012 presidential election, CFOs strongly preferred former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney to the current president, and to potential Republican challenges remaining in the race at the time --- with a 48% pro-Romney vote, compared to President Obama's distant-second 13%, followed by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich's 12%.
CFOs were closer, though, on who they thought would actually be victorious, with President Obama expected to win by 45%, and Romney by 40%.
"With nine months remaining until the election, U.S. CFOs are most concerned about how the candidates will address the issues that play an essential role in the health of their companies," FEI president Marie Hollein said of the survey results on political matters. "Whether or not their preferred candidate is voted into office, CFOs are going to demand reforms that will bring much needed economic growth in the U.S. It will be critical for the Administration to take into careful consideration the concerns of U.S. businesses, and work together to find solutions."
Looking at current U.S. issues, CFOs were most eager to see tax reforms to revive American businesses. Asked the legislation they would like signed into law this year, 24% cited a renewal of President George W. Bush's individual tax rates. Next was a cut in the corporate tax rate to 25% (cited by 17%), and elimination of the employer mandates and fees associated with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (15%).
Revenue Growth Is Top Challenge
When it comes to the future of the Eurozone crisis, though, there are particular worries among CFOs on both sides of the Atlantic about the impact that a possible demise of the euro currency might have on their revenues.