Chief financial officers of middle-market companies are generally upbeat about the economy and their hiring plans.
Nearly half (47 percent) of the CFOs who participated in GE Capital's quarterly survey said they expect the US economy to be stable while another 37 percent said it is "improving" over the near term. This suggests little chance for a double-dip recession in the months ahead, GE Capital asserts.
Their hiring plans seem even more encouraging.
Nearly two-thirds (62 percent) of the CFOs said they had begun hiring in 2010. What's more, 56 percent said they expect to continue adding jobs through the rest of the year.
Those hiring anticipate boosting their employment ranks by an average of 7 percent. Transportation CFOs who expect to hire project workforce growth of 11 percent this year.
What kinds of jobs are the CFOs looking to fill? Nearly eight of 10 (77 percent) said they expect operational positions to make up the greatest percent of new hires.
GE Capital surveyed 530 CFOs of companies with revenues between $50 million and $1 billion, operating across seven major industries, including: metals, mining and metals fabrication; food, beverage & agriculture; general manufacturing; healthcare; retail; technology & business services and transportation.
The finance executives also reported that credit market conditions are generally improving. A large majority (85 percent) expect the amount of credit available to them in their next round of financing to either remain the same (56 percent) or improve (26 percent).
What's more, 75 percent expect their company's cost of capital to improve or remain stable this year. This is way up from 60 percent back in January.
About one-third of the CFOs see higher capital expenditure spending, up from 28 percent in January. Technology execs are the most optimistic, with 38 percent seeing higher spending. Food industry CFOs are the least optimistic, as just 27 percent see higher spending.