GE Capital has released its sixth bi-annual “U.S. Midmarket CFO Survey,” which finds CFOs’ current sentiment on their industry and the US economy is better than a year ago, but lower than the first quarter of 2012. Most continue to feel positive about their company outlook. Five hundred chief financial officers from U.S. middle market companies across seven distinct industries took the survey. (Click here to view the report.)
Labor issues are still on the horizon. Unemployment is the major near-term economic concern. Hiring employees is occurring, but is being done more cautiously. For the third consecutive year, healthcare and raw materials costs are the top threats to business performance in the next 12 months.
CFOs in the Transportation industry have grown more optimistic about their industry and the overall economy since the last issuance of the survey, which was the first quarter of 2012. (The survey includes respondents from a wide variety of truck transportation companies.) Sixty-seven percent of Transportation CFOs said they would consider additional financing for equipment compared, to 33 percent who said they’d consider additional financing for company car or truck fleets, according to GE Capital.
“There’s a positive feeling in the industry now, and the Christmas shipping season seems to be fairly good. Survey respondents said that their biggest opportunity was raising revenue per loaded mile — that tells us that capacity is still very tight. At the same time, we’re still seeing concerns about the impact of fuel prices, regulation and healthcare,” said Dan Clark, president and general manager of GE Capital, Transportation Financial Services.