Monday, December 13, 2010

Corporate Finance Pros Turning Optimistic

Corporate financial professionals, treasurers, CFOs and the like, are increasingly optimistic about 2011 business prospects.

The 2011 AFP Business Outlook Survey released today by the Association for Financial Professionals  shows that 42 percent of financial professionals expect their organizations to resume hiring in the coming year.

The AFP survey, which closed Friday, also shows that 48 percent of respondents expect business conditions to improve moderately in 2011, with no need for additional stimulus.

This is an important survey to consider.

AFP members are responsible for ensuring that their organizations have enough cash on hand to fund operations, are positioned to observe the cash flows and investment decisions of their organizations, and are knowledgeable about their organization’s future funding needs. Since they work in a wide range of industries and in both public and private organizations of varying sizes, their opinions reflect a broad corporate perspective that is both operational and strategic.

In last year’s survey, the AFP membership pointed to a lagging economy with severely curtailed corporate investment in 2010. Headed into 2011, they are obviously seeing the early signs of Bernanke monetary easing, though they are quite correctly concerned about price inflation.

44 percent of survey respondents believe that risks like inflation and U.S. dollar volatility outweigh the benefits of the action. Yet, they see more than a one-in-three chance that the Federal Reserve will continue purchasing securities beyond the June 30 scheduled end of the current round of quantitative easing.

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