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Worries about a worsening economy still top the list for senior finance executives at companies with revenues of $2 billion or less, but not to the same extent as last year, according to Treasury & Risk‘s annual Middle Market survey. In 2009, 58% of respondents said that sinking feeling was keeping them up at night, compared with the 44% this year who say they still fret over an unexpected drop. But anxiety over the size of the U.S. federal deficit (8%) and healthcare reform (7%) have grown, displacing last year’s No. 2 and No. 3 concerns, liquidity (11%) and credit availability (9%). Pennies are getting pinched harder than ever this year, though, with 68% of executives saying their companies are responding to the downturn by squeezing more cash from internal operations, compared with the 40% who said that last year.

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