Despite the current economic outlook for U.S. manufacturers, 68% of manufacturing CFOs surveyed by Grant Thornton LLP, do not expect to raise customer fees or prices over the next six months. Only 12.6% expect to raise prices or fees.
Manufacturing CFOs are most concerned about the impact of employee benefits on their bottom line, with more than 73% indicating it was their biggest concern, followed by raw materials (62%); energy (47%); and insurance (26%).
To help improve profitability, 70.6% of CFOs indicate that they are not giving raises this year, and nearly 59% aren't giving bonuses.
Nearly 70% are cutting back on recruiting/hiring, and 66% are reducing headcount.
On the operations end, 68% are refining processes and streamlining and 59% are reducing business travel expenses.
At least one piece of good news is borne out by the study, which found that 70% of manufacturing CFOs are not having difficulty accessing credit and 92% have not had to return to bank credit because they couldnt access alternative financing structures.
The bad news is that 83% of CFOs expect the recession to last to the end of 2009.
The survey results were compiled in April 2009 by Grant Thornton LLP representing 120 manufacturing CFOs from companies with revenues from less than $100 million to $1 billion.