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Survey: Treasury and Finance Professionals Expect Tepid Economic Growth in 2016

2016 AFP Business Outlook Survey finds that just 45 percent of finance pros believe business conditions will improve next year.

Bethesda, Md. -- Treasury and finance professionals are predicting more tepid growth in the year ahead.

The 2016 AFP Business Outlook Survey, underwritten by SWIFT, revealed slightly less than half of finance professionals anticipate business conditions will improve in the United States during 2016. Nearly 1,200 treasury and finance professionals responded to the survey.

Among their 2016 predictions:

• 54 percent expect the U.S. economy will grow between 1.0 percent and 1.9 percent.
• 48 percent expect their companies will increase U.S. payrolls.
• 53 percent expect consumer prices will increase less than 1 percent.
• 46 percent say rising health care costs is the biggest threat to economic prosperity, followed by excessive regulations (43 percent).
• 69 percent believe regulatory compliance will be a key financial priority for their organization.

“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,” said Jim Kaitz, president and CEO of AFP. “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. They also must make critical business decisions—including those affecting corporate borrowing and business investments—based on those observations and assumptions.”

“In order to determine the most effective ways to support the Community, as part of our 2020 Strategy SWIFT has closely analyzed changing external conditions and significant market and technology drivers,” said Ed Adams, Head of Corporates at SWIFT. “Times of change are uncertain, but they also present areas where companies can make an impact. By working with key industry groups such as AFP, SWIFT is staying at the forefront of the challenges and opportunities that are shaping our industry on a day to day basis. Hearing directly from financial professionals helps ensure our focus aligns closely with industry needs.”

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.

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