Saturday - November 25, 2017
Labor Markets Tighten, Stock Market Overvalued, Trumps is Tops, Survey Finds
Written by Josh Zach   
Thursday, 10 September 2015 14:05

DURHAM, N.C. -- Nearly half of U.S. firms are struggling to fill job openings. Still, they plan to increase wages in the coming year, according to the latest Duke University/CFO Global Business Outlook, which drew responses from more than 1,200 CFOs worldwide. And even after recent market corrections, more than half of U.S. companies say they think the stock market is overvalued.

EMPLOYMENT AND WAGES

Ninety-three percent of U.S. companies say they have job openings in key positions and nearly half say it is difficult to fill the slots. CFOs list the difficulty in attracting and retaining qualified employees as one of their top three overall business concerns.

U.S. firms expect to hike wages 3.3 percent over the next year, with growth strongest in services, consulting and construction.

“CFOs say they are increasing wages in response to labor market pressures and difficulty finding key workers,” said John Graham, a finance professor at Duke’s Fuqua School of Business and director of the survey. “Employment should continue to increase over the next year but at a somewhat slower pace."

Employment is expected to shrink over the next year in the finance, energy and agriculture industries.

STOCK MARKET STILL OVERVALUED

Even after the recent correction in the stock market, more than half of U.S. CFOs believe the market is still overvalued.

CFOs are very bearish on the U.S. market,” said Fuqua professor Campbell R. Harvey, a founding director of the survey. “Our survey took place during a volatile time where there was a 10 percent market correction. Even after this drawdown, 55 percent of CFOs thought the market was overvalued.”

PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES RATED

Donald Trump leads the list of presidential candidates CFOs rated as best for business, followed by Carly Fiorina.

“This is not a survey of the average voter. These are our business leaders,” said Graham. “It appears U.S. CFOs believe that presidential candidates with business experience would be best for their own businesses, given the backgrounds of Donald Trump and Carly Fiorina.”

No single candidate received majority support. Nearly one in five U.S. CFOs (19.4 percent) said Trump would be best for their businesses, followed by 14.1 percent who favored Fiorina. Jeb Bush followed closely with 13.9 percent.

Full results from the 78th consecutive quarterly Duke University/CFO Global Business Outlook survey can be viewed online at http://www.cfosurvey.org/

 
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