The year is winding down, and the market seems to be continuing its mending post-financial crisis. How do corporate treasurers feel about the economy?
New analysis from SWIFT and the Association for Financial Professionals (AFP), released Monday (Dec. 14), finds some muted optimism among financial professionals.
According to the 2016 AFP Business Outlook Survey, less than half of corporate money managers believe their economic conditions will improve in the year ahead. Overall, however, more than half (54 percent) said the U.S. economy will grow, at least a bit, between 1.0 and 1.9 percent.
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In a statement, AFP CEO and President Jim Kaitz pointed to the complex role of the corporate treasurer today and how that position means they can often offer insight into the overall business climate.
“Because treasury and finance professionals work in a wide range of industries in public and private organizations of varying sizes, their perspectives are ‘hands-on’ indicators of future business conditions,” he said.
“Their job responsibilities are to take into account business conditions that affect their organizations and then forecast how those conditions will change in both the short and intermediate term,” Kaitz added. “They must also make critical business decisions — including those affecting corporate borrowing and business investments — based on those observations and assumptions.”
Researchers also found that nearly half of those surveyed (48 percent) expect their company’s U.S. payrolls to increase. A majority (69 percent) said regulatory compliance will be a crucial focus for their companies in the year ahead.
In a separate statement, SWIFT Head of Corporates Ed Adams said the survey is an effort to grasp the external conditions that are impacting today’s market. “Times of change are uncertain,” he said, “but they also present areas where companies can make an impact.”