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Duke survey: Exec optimism at 14-year high, 'strong' hiring plans but ...

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March 16, 2017

Chief financial officers and finance execs see plenty of positive benefits coming in the on-going "Trump Bump," but they do express worries in a new survey, such as President Trump's often provocative tweets on Twitter and lack of public trust in government.

Optimism among US financial executives is at a 14-year high with companies planning "strong hiring and spending" this year, says the new Duke University/CFO Global Business Outlook survey

However, they also have some concerns, such as telling Trump to stop using Twitter..

The Duke/CFO survey's Optimism Index rose to 69 on a 100-point scale in the latest quarterly survey released Wednesday. That's the highest score in 14 years.

Conversely, the index of CFOs for Europe, Asia, Latin America and Africa were all below 60.

The findings mirror the American Institute for Certified Public Accountants forecast released last week. It also reflects optimism shown in the major Wall Street markets, which have set records since the election of Trump last November, and a myriad of other surveys taken among consumers as well as small businesses.

In a Q&A, Duke finance professor and economist John Graham spelled out several reasons for the optimism as well as concerns..

"There are a lot of new ideas, and they may not all work. For example, the border tax, would it evoke retaliations from trading partners? So, one downside is we’d be entering the unknown in some dimensions," Graham explained.

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Rick Smith, WRAL