Thursday, March 13, 2008

Darkness Visible: CFOs See Recession Through 2009

I've found that insider buying by CFO's is a better indicator than buying by CEO's. And I'm guessing that their economic prognostication is more realistic too.

The outlook isn't brilliant among U.S. finance chiefs studied by CFO magazine and Duke University: 75 percent see a recession starting sometime this year. The mood among finance chiefs in Europe, Asia, and China is also growing gloomier.

The news is getting grim. Optimism among U.S. CFOs has plummeted this quarter, with three-quarters of them predicting a recession at some point during 2008. Even grimmer: They expect inflation will rise to 3 percent this year. Grimmest: Nearly 90 percent say the economy will not rebound until 2009.

Those are some of the conclusions of the first quarter 2008 Duke University/CFO magazine Global Business Outlook survey, which culls the economic prognoses of more than 1,000 CFOs from a broad range of global public and private companies. The survey concluded March 7 and generated responses from 1,073 CFOs, including 475 from the United States, 205 from Europe, 204 from Asia (not including China), and 189 from China. Here are some more highlights—or lowlights—of the U.S. CFOs' responses:...MORE