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CFO survey finds improved outlook on hiring and revenue in 2024

Chief financial officers foresee improved revenue and hiring in 2024, according to The CFO Survey for the third quarter of this year released today by Duke University’s Fuqua School Business and the Federal Reserve Banks of Richmond and Atlanta.

CFOs on average expect full-time employment growth to rise 3.9% in 2024, up from 1.1% this year, according to the report. They also on average expect revenue to rebound to 6.5% growth next year from 3.0% this year.

They were also more upbeat on the economy in general. In the third-quarter report, CFOs assigned a 19% chance for negative GDP growth over the next 12 months, down from 24% in the second-quarter survey. Growth expectations for GDP were upgraded with CFOs on average foreseeing 1.3% growth, up from 1.0% in the previous survey.

However, monetary policy ranked as their top business concern, as higher interest rates have curtailed spending at approximately 40% of companies. Labor quality/availability was the next-most important concern.

“Monetary policy appears to be further dampening business spending and hiring plans,” John Graham, finance professor at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and the director of the survey, said in a press release. “Overall, the weak (but still positive) growth in 2023, followed by improved prospects in 2024, suggests that policymakers may yet pull off a soft landing for the US economy.”

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