US managers pessimistic about prospects

2003

American business people are more pessimistic about the US economy than they were one year ago and are anticipating more redundancies and hiring freezes. More than 60 per cent also believe that conflict in Iraq will have at least a moderate impact on their businesses.

The findings, from American Management Association’s 2003 Economic Conditions Survey, show that half of respondents said that their organisations failed to reach revenue targets in 2003.

Only 21 per cent said that their company exceeded revenue targets.

But while generally indicative of a poor economic year, the performance numbers were marginally more positive than those reported the previous year’s survey about performance in 2001.

US Managers also seem more pessimistic about the economy than last year. Nearly half of respondents think the economy is declining. This is up from 38 per cent who saw a decline one year ago. Only 7 per cent say the economy has improved versus 14 per cent who saw growth last year.

More than one quarter of respondents anticipate redundancies, hiring freezes, cutbacks or pay freezes. Many more will scale back travel, reorganise and review business plans and budget forecasts.

While only 9 per cent expect great impact from conflict with Iraq in the short term, another 53 per cent think there will be moderate impact on their business. More than half of respondents foresee a moderate or great long-term impact as well.

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