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CFOs are cutting back on expectations for capital spending, hiring and prices, according to a survey of CFOs by Financial Executives International (FEI) and Baruch College’s Zicklin School of Business. Companies are projecting average increases of 2.3% in capital spending, 4.1% in hiring and 1.9% in prices, down from first-quarter projections of 7.9%, 5.2% and 2.1%, respectively. “While CFOs were a little more downbeat, they were neither outrageously optimistic nor outrageously pessimistic about the economy,” says Zicklin dean John A. Elliott. There’s good news on the issue of outsourcing: While 73% say they outsource, more than half outsource to U.S. firms. “We often talk about outsourcing as if everything is going offshore,” says Elliott. “But there’s also a lot of efficient contracting for everything from accounting services to benefits to manufacturing where they’ve found specialists to do the work for them, often here in the U.S.”

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