Industry News: Around the Industry
U.S. Mid-Market CFOs More Positive on U.S. Economy and Business Performance in Q1
U.S. chief financial officers (CFOs) of middle-market companies have grown more positive about the state of their industries and businesses as well as the state of the domestic economy over the last six months, according to the latest middle-market CFO survey by GE Capital.
In terms of potential threats to the U.S. economy in 2012, concern over European fiscal conditions spiked in the first quarter, matching worries over the U.S. budget deficit and ahead of concern about U.S. unemployment levels. The two biggest threats cited to business performance over the next 12 months were healthcare and raw materials costs.
The survey, which took place during the first quarter of 2012, included responses from 495 CFOs of companies with an average revenue of $143 million operating across seven major industries, including: metals, mining and metals fabrication; food, beverage & agriculture; general manufacturing; healthcare; retail; technology & business services; and transportation.
“Mid-market CFOs are more optimistic than six months ago, despite the European fiscal crisis and inconsistent job growth,” said Dan Henson, president and CEO of GE Capital, Americas. “A larger majority sees top-line growth and stable or better profits this year, and more will be hiring. These companies have access to affordable capital, which in 2012 is most likely to be targeted for investment to finance growth and to purchase equipment.”
“This outlook is generally consistent with what we are seeing in our own, mid-market financing businesses, as our total financing activity was up 15 percent in 2011 and our pipeline of new business is up 16 percent at the end of the first quarter. We’re also seen consistent improvement over the last three years in the companies in our loan portfolio, with average customer EBITDA (pretax cash flow) up 10 percent again this year.”
To read the full press release, which includes survey highlights, go to http://tinyurl.com/bm3pbms
ELFA Editorial Staff