CFO optimism plummets to all-time low

A new survey shows CFOs are increasingly uneasy about the U.S. economy and their own companies. Optimism sank to all-time lows in the third quarter, according to a survey conducted by Financial Executives International and Baruch College's Zicklin School of Business.

According to the survey, the CFO Optimism Index for the U.S. economy continued its plummet past last quarter's all-time low to 41.73. The 7.19 plunge was the largest quarterly decline in the history of the survey. The Optimism Index for CFOs' own companies fell to 61.74, a 5.32 point drop from last quarter's all-time low.

For the first time in several years, CFOs are reporting year-over-year reductions in capital investments, technology spending and hiring, says John Elliott, dean of the Zicklin School of Business at Baruch College. CFOs anticipate access to credit to continue to tighten for their companies and are thus initiating cutbacks on technology spending, capital spending, hiring and inventory over the next 12 months.

A majority of CFOs say they support Sen. John McCain, and believe he would be the best for their companies as president.

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