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AFP Press Release

Corporate Treasurers, CFOs See Improved Business Conditions Ahead – AFP Survey

Largest percentage optimistic since before recession. 57% of companies anticipate higher revenues


WASHINGTON – December 17, 2013 – Corporate treasurers and CFOs believe business conditions will improve in 2014 and that the U.S. economy will grow by 2.1 percent and will create another 1.95 million nonfarm jobs, according to a survey of 824 executives released today by the Association for Financial Professionals (AFP).

The AFP Business Outlook Survey, which has tracked business predictions of CFOs, corporate treasurers and other financial executives for the last ten years, found that 52 percent of finance executives anticipate improved business conditions in 2014, with growth concentrated in the second half of the year. This is the largest percentage predicting improvement since before the recession of 2008-2009. Among optimistic respondents, 11 percent see GDP growth over three percent in 2014.

The survey found consensus around a bumpy start to the year, with only 29 percent of finance executives expecting improvement in the first two quarters.

Even if the economy grows modestly, more than three in five corporate practitioners expect revenue growth at their companies, with 57 percent expecting somewhat more revenue in 2014 and five percent expecting significantly more.

"With corporate revenue growth, the jobs will follow,” said Jim Kaitz, AFP's president and CEO. “Companies have pent-up demand for positions that had been put on hold in the last few years.” The survey showed that finance executives now expect their companies to begin hiring, both in U.S. and in their operations outside the U.S., with 43 percent anticipating expanding U.S. payrolls. Among those with employees outside the U.S., 41 percent plan on further expanding non-U.S. payrolls.

Yet, they see only modest inflation, predicting a CPI growth rate of only +1.3 percent. Half the responding companies said they had taken some type of action to take advantage of historically low interest rates, such as refinancing long-term debt or issuing new debt. And while finance executives do not anticipate a significant change in their company’s near-term borrowing costs, 47 percent say that they plan to take advantage of low rates before any potential interest rate hike.

ABOUT THE SURVEY
Between November 25 and December 6, AFP surveyed its membership, generating 824 responses. AFP members come from a broad range of companies of many sizes and across all industries. With the responsibility of funding their organization, they are uniquely positioned to consider how business conditions will affect their organization’s near-term and intermediate-term strategies and how conditions may affect corporate borrowing and business investments. The full report is available at www.AFPonline.org/outlook

ABOUT AFP®
Headquartered outside Washington, D.C., the Association for Financial Professionals (AFP) is the professional society that represents finance executives globally. AFP established and administers the Certified Treasury Professional and Certified Corporate FP&A Professional credentials, which set standards of excellence in finance. The quarterly AFP Corporate Cash Indicators serve as a bellwether of economic growth. The AFP Annual Conference is the largest networking event for corporate finance professionals in the world.

AFP, Association for Financial Professionals, Certified Treasury Professional, and Certified Corporate Financial Planning & Analysis Professional are registered trademarks of the Association for Financial Professionals.© 2013 Association for Financial Professionals, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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