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Nearly three-fourths of CFOs expect the Fed's interest rate hikes to lead to recession. Moreover, only about 40 percent have a positive outlook about the U.S. economy over the next six months, compared with nearly 70 percent a year ago, a new survey from Grant Thornton finds.

The top five reasons for this pessimism are:

  • Increasing costs for goods and services (cited by 73 percent of respondents)
  • Increasing energy costs (71 percent)
  • Supply-chain challenges (66 percent)
  • Interest rate increases (64 percent)
  • Increased cost of credit and capital (61 percent)

"The CFOs we surveyed are primarily concerned about cost, not demand," says Christopher Schenkenberg, a Grant Thornton partner and national business-line leader of the firm's tax practice. "That's exactly what I'm hearing from clients, too. Among our respondents, 71 percent are confident on demand, but only 57 percent are confident about controlling costs."

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