Prime Advantage, a consortium that seeks to leverage the collective buying power of its 600 manufacturing members, today said that a recent survey of CFOs at small and mid-sized industrial companies revealed a streak of optimism tempered slightly by trepidation in a still-recovering economy.
The consortium’s second-annual Group CFO Survey, conducted in January among 36 financial executives at mid-sized manufacturing companies, found that two-thirds of respondents were more optimistic about the economy than they were a year earlier, while 64% felt similarly upbeat about their own companies’ prospects this year.
But the credit crisis that wracked smaller businesses in 2009 remains a concern, according to the results. Ninety-one percent of the CFOs reported that their own customers or prospects “have been affected by the cost or availability of credit.”
The results of the survey also seemed to buoy some economists’ predictions that employment recovery will significantly lag the overall economic rebound. Among the survey participants, 57% said that by 2011 or 2012, the workforce at their factories will still be smaller than it was in 2007.