Is the economic recovery sustainable? The improvement in the stock market, quarterly earnings and March retail sales prompts some optimism, while nagging fears about the continued joblessness, high debt levels and cratered real estate markets argue otherwise. The Icelandic volcano spewing ash and grounding flights across Europe in late April isn't helping.

But CFOs and senior comptrollers were feeling out of sorts even before Mother Nature kicked in, according to a national survey from Grant Thornton. Just 44% expect the economy to improve over the next six months, down from the 49% who were optimistic about the economy six months ago. And while 52% expect their own business to do better, up from 45% six months ago, that doesn't translate into more jobs. And only 29% say they plan to increase hiring vs. 22% that plan to decrease it. Those intentions are flipped among Fortune 500 companies, 31% of which plan to decrease hiring vs. 23% that plan to increase it.

Actually, most of the nearly 500 senior financial executives Grant Thornton surveyed are still waiting for the recovery to start: 6% say the U.S. will come out of the recession in the first half of 2010, while 22% see the recovery starting in the second half, 48% in 2011 and 24% after 2011.

Complete your profile to continue reading and get FREE access to Treasury & Risk, part of your ALM digital membership.

  • Critical Treasury & Risk information including in-depth analysis of treasury and finance best practices, case studies with corporate innovators, informative newsletters, educational webcasts and videos, and resources from industry leaders.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM and Treasury & Risk events.
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including and

© 2024 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.