CFOs speak out on economy, health care, wages, and benefits

In a national biannual survey of U.S. Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) and senior comptrollers conducted by Grant Thornton LLP, 54% of respondents say the best way to reduce the U.S. federal deficit is to reduce spending. Thirty-five percent say that there should be roughly equal measures of reduced spending and increased taxes.
 
With regard to the newly enacted national health care law, 49% said it will increase the pricing of their goods, 40% said it will decrease their company's growth, and 37% said it will decrease their hiring.
 
The top three areas of concern in terms of pricing pressure are employee benefits (75%), raw materials (47%, up from 27% six months earlier), and energy (45%, up from 21% six months earlier).
 
Other survey statistics include:
 
  • 51% would not support a VAT tax, even if it directly reduced personal income tax rates
  • 58% said health care reform will have no impact on hiring
  • 50% said health care reform will have no impact on company growth
  • 49% said health care reform will increase pricing
  • 30% anticipate giving salary increases, up from 22% six months ago
  • 11% expect to increase the company 405(k) match, up from 5% six months ago
  • 26% expect to decrease health care benefits, down from 30% six months ago
 
Grant Thornton conducted the biannual national random online survey from March 22 through April 6, 2011, with 318 U.S. CFOs and senior comptrollers participating.

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