Economy check

Corporate CFOs have another name for the economic recession — a growth recession.

“They’re saying inflation will stay in check due to restraints in pricing and higher productivity,” says John Graham, finance professor at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and director of the most recent quarterly CFO Corporate Outlook Survey conducted by Duke and Financial Executives International.

While 51 percent will cut or hold steady capital expenditures and, for the first time in the five-year history of the survey, a majority of companies don’t plan to increase employment through the next year, CFOs also predict corporate earnings and the stock market will be in positive territory through next March.

They expect corporate profits to rise 10 percent and productivity to increase 4.2 percent on average at their companies through March 2002.

For more results and past surveys, click on “FEI Survey” at The next survey is due out this month. How to reach: Financial Executives International,; Fuqua School of Business,