Interest In Interest Rates Intensifies Among Finance Execs

For the first time in seven calendar quarters, senior financial executives in manufacturing, construction, transportation, and other major segments of the U.S. economy believe that interest rates -- and not consumer spending -- will have the greatest impact on the economy during the next six months. However, a survey by the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA), Montvale, N.J., also shows the finance folks continue to have a high level of confidence in the U.S. economy. Several factors -- including an anticipated increase in sales and profits, and improving economic conditions around the world -- figure into their continued confidence, IMA says. The outlook looks to be especially good for firms with 100 to 1,000 employees, the survey suggests. Profit growth at these mid-size firms is projected to increase 11%, compared with 6% at smaller firms, and 4% at larger companies.

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