Tag Archives: U.S. economy

Arizona Business Financing

CFOs Show Growing Confidence in U.S. Economy

During the past year, chief financial officers (CFOs) have grown significantly more confident in the U.S. economy, according to the 2013 Spring CFO Survey from Grant Thornton LLP. The survey findings reveal that 45 percent of respondents believe the state of the U.S. economy will improve during the next six months, compared to just 31 percent in the fall and 25 percent last summer.

That confidence extends throughout the survey findings, with 44 percent of those surveyed predicting that industry financial prospects will improve during the next six months, compared to 34 percent in the fall. Since last summer, the number of CFOs who believe the pricing or fees charged by their industry will increase in the next six months has jumped seven percentage points to 37 percent. In addition, when CFOs were asked about employment opportunities during the next six months, more than a third (40 percent) said their company’s head count would increase, rising 6 percent from the fall.

“The results of our spring survey are encouraging — particularly with respect to the uptick in expectations for improved financial prospects,” said Stephen Chipman, chief executive officer of Grant Thornton LLP. “Seemingly, steady improvements in key economic indicators, including labor and housing, have helped stimulate greater optimism among CFOs, at least in the near-term.”

According to the survey findings, almost two-thirds of CFOs (65 percent) expect the average cost of an employee’s salary to increase during the next 12 months, up from 59 percent in the fall. The total cost of employee benefits, including bonuses (56 percent), stock options (72 percent), 401(k) match (86 percent), and other company-matched retirement contributions (81 percent), are expected to remain unchanged from the year prior.

These findings come on the heels of similar data from the Grant Thornton International Business Report, which found that optimism in the performance of the nation’s economy among U.S. business leaders rose from -4 percent in fourth quarter 2012 to 31 percent in first quarter 2013.

While increased optimism among CFOs was prevalent throughout the survey results, they still cite legislative bottlenecks as an area of concern. Almost half of all CFOs surveyed (47 percent) say they are unable to make a major decision that would allow their company to grow because of uncertainty surrounding the funding of the U.S. government. Thirty-one percent of respondents ranked tax reform as the second greatest bottleneck.

Arizona Commercial Real Estate Development

Arizona Ranked No. 5 In Commercial Real Estate Development In 2011

Arizona was ranked No. 5 in 2011 in direct spending in all three phases of development across all categories of commercial real estate, according to a report issued last week by NAIOP.

Arizona’s development accounts for $4.2B in spending and 74,117 jobs supported, up from No. 14 last year. Arizona’s development contributed heavily to 2011 being the first year commercial real estate (office, industrial and retail buildings) has posted gains since the recession, according to NAIOP’s report, How Office, Industrial and Retail Development and Construction Contributed to the U.S. Economy in 2011.

The NAIOP Research Foundation Study:
· Construction spending grew more than 12% from 2010 to 2011;
· 238.3 MSF built in 2011 was 2.5% more than in 2010;
· New projects provided capacity for 610,000 jobs;
· Commercial real estate development and construction contributed $262B to a GDP increase of 13% from 2010

Construction spending on commercial real estate totaled $92.3B, a more than 12% increase over 2010. This spending supported nearly 2 million jobs nationally.

“2011 was a transition year for the U.S. economy and the construction sector,” said the report’s author, economist Stephen S. Fuller, PhD, Dwight Schar Faculty Chair, University Professor and the Director of the Center for Regional Analysis at the George Mason University. “The U.S. economy shifted from a federal stimulus to private-sector driven growth pattern and construction spending grew accordingly.”

In addition to the advances made in 2011, forecasts for 2012 call for project construction spending to increase  and to accelerate further in 2013 and 2014, according to the report.

“For the first time we are seeing across the board increases in this sector,” said Thomas J. Bisacquino, NAIOP president and CEO. “We believe this is the most solid evidence yet of a strengthening recovery.”

The impact of the new spending was felt throughout the nation. The following states posted the highest amounts of direct spending in all three phases of development across all categories of commercial real estate (number in parenthesis refers to that state’s rank in 2010):

1. Texas (Previous rank: 2), $7.9B in spending, 150,102 jobs supported;
2. New York (1), $6.5B in spending, 83,762 jobs supported;
3. West Virginia (48), $5.9B in spending, 100,889 jobs supported;
4. California (3), $4.5B in spending, 70,817 jobs supported;
5. Arizona (14), $4.2B in spending, 74,117 jobs supported;
6. Utah (26), $3.6B in spending, 77,550 jobs supported;
7. Florida (4), $3.4B in spending, 64,970 jobs supported;
8. Illinois (10), $3.0B in spending, 50,136 jobs supported;
9. Massachusetts (21), $3.05B in spending, 41,382 jobs supported;
10. (tie) North Carolina (7), $3.05B in spending, 55,920 jobs supported.