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CNBC Global CFO Council Survey: More Corp Spending

Thursday, 9 May 2013 | 12:07 PM ET
CNBC Global CFO Council Survey
Thursday, 9 May 2013 | 8:09 AM ET
CNBC's Becky Quick reports the CNBC Global CFO Council Survey is showing increase corporate spending.

Despite stellar earnings performances by U.S. corporations and a stock market in record territory, the overall economic picture remains stable perhaps with some modest improvements.

That's the outlook from the newest survey of the CNBC Global CFO Council, a group of chief financial officers representing a broad swath of the economy and controlling roughly $1 trillion in assets.

Members of the council come from a wide range of sectors, including retail, banking, energy and transportation. CNBC surveys this group of 25 CFOs on a regular basis.

About 80 percent of the council said the Federal Reserve should maintain current rate policy, up from a 60 percent approval rating in our last survey in late March. However, the council is split on how much improvement shareholders will see in corporate growth during this quarter.

There is a small appetite to start spending the record amount of cash retained by companies. On average, the council will increase capital expenditures by 7 percent over last year—mainly on information technology and new equipment. And while there are no outward signs of any significant improvement in hiring, the council says their employees' total compensation, including salaries, is rising.


More insights from the survey:

– CFOs, on average, are increasing their health care spending by 7 percent over last year.


– CFOs see U.S. inflation gradually increasing in 12 months∙


– About half the council will be hiring slightly more workers overseas than in the United States.


– A majority of CFOs thinks it is unlikely that all publicly traded firms in the U.S. will mandate a split between the roles of CEO and chairman.


– The council ranked Information Technology as the top spending priority.


– 75 percent of the CFOs have no plans to begin releasing financial information over social media.

The complete results of the CNBC Global CFO Council Survey can be found below.

Question 1


Question 2


Question 3

With approximately 55 percent of corporations reporting earnings thus far, have US corporate earnings in Q1 2013 met your expectations?

Stronger than expected 0%

Slightly stronger than expected 25%

As expected 66.7%

Slightly weaker than expected 8.3%

Weaker than expected 0%

Question 4

Compared to the consensus, what best describes your anticipated view of US corporate earnings per share (EPS) growth in Q2 2013 compared to Q2 2012? Please use the consensus forecast of 4.2%. Source: Thomson Reuters

Stronger than expected 0%


Slightly stronger than expected 37.5%

As expected 41.7%

Slightly weaker than expected 20.8%

Weaker than expected 0%

Question 5

What best describes your anticipated view of US corporate earnings per share (EPS) growth in the second half of FY '13?

Stronger than expected 4.2%

Slightly stronger than expected 29.2%

As expected 41.7%

Slightly weaker than expected 25%

Weaker than expected 0%

Question 6



Question 7


Question 8


Question 9



Question 10


Question 11

At the next Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting, which action should the Fed take?

Raise interest rates 20.8%

Maintain current rate policy 79.2%

Lower interest rates 0%


Question 12

Question 13

Question 14

How will the level of Capital Expenditure by your firm change in the second half of 2013 versus 2012? Please give percentage increase or decrease (+/- %) year over year.

CNBC CFO Council 7%

Question 15

Question 16

Question 17


Question 18


Question 19

How will health care spending at your firm change in the year? Please give a percentage increase or decrease (+/- %)

CNBC CFO Council 7%

Question 20


Question 21



Question 22

Question 23

Question 24

In your opinion, what is the likelihood that all public firms will mandate a split between the roles of CEO and board chairman for purposes of maintaining a high level of governance?

Very likely 8.3%

Somewhat likely 25%

Somewhat unlikely 37.5%

Unlikely 29.2%


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  • John Stephens, AT&T CFO, delves into Ma Bell's quarterly numbers and weighs in on the company's strategy to increase its wireless subscribers.

  • Jon Moeller, Procter & Gamble CFO, breaks down the company's third quarter results of $1.04 EPS ex-items on revenues of $20.56 billion and weighs in on where the company sees global growth.

  • It's the tie together of beverages and snacks that's working really well, says Hugh Johnston, PepsiCo CFO, discussing his company's quarterly numbers and sharing his thoughts on Pepsi's diverse global brand.