The majority of chief financial officers in the U.S. and Europe say their firms will slash spending and employment in 2009, and their firms will post losses.
"In September 2007, CFO optimism about the future declined sharply, correctly anticipating the current recession. Throughout the history of our survey, CFOs have shown remarkable ability to predict future economic conditions," said John R. Graham, director of the survey and a finance professor at Duke's Fuqua School of Business. "Therefore, the record pessimism CFOs are currently expressing is ominous. Eighty percent of U.S. CFOs have grown more pessimistic about the economic outlook for 2009, and pessimists outnumber optimists by a 9-to-1 margin."