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Study: American CFOs Happier than European Counterparts

Photo: Pathathai Chungyam

Economic uncertainty continues to plague the business world. Across the globe, corporations struggle with the same financial challenges.

Executives and employees fortunate enough to have escaped the ax no longer judge their happiness according to job satisfaction, but rather, by whether they even have a job. Still, in spite of the emotional turmoil the recession has wrought, it seems business is happiest in the United States.

A recent survey conducted by Financial Executives International and Baruch College’s Zicklin School of Business found chief financial officers in the United States were more optimistic, had access to more credit, and planned on hiring more employees than their European counterparts.

The survey polled CFOs of public and private businesses in the United States and Europe on their company’s economic and business confidence.

And the news is good for everyone.

The survey showed an increase in confidence across the board. CFOs in the United States, however, exhibited more confidence in their company’s financial well-being than European CFOs.

The Q4 CFO Optimism Index for the United States economy rose more than 10 points. Optimism outlooks for the company’s economic well-being increased nearly four points; six points higher than CFOs in Europe.

American CFOs’ happiness quotient took a nose-dive on healthcare reform. When asked whether the reform had a negative impact on the country, 59 percent surveyed said yes, and 64 percent said they believed the healthcare reform act would have a direct negative impact on their company.

They perked back up on the subject of tax reform, though, with a resounding 68 percent claiming tax reform to be good for the country.

While European and American CFOs face the same challenges and uphill battles, the United States seems to be facing those hurdles with more optimism and the quintessential American “can-do” attitude.

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