Training and development is also a top area of focus for European CFOs (42 percent), followed by office atmosphere (33 percent) and team building (29 percent).
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This quarter, CFOs remain very concerned over the fate of the Eurozone. When asked to rate their concern on a scale of one (not concerned) to five (very concerned), U.S. CFOs (93 percent) selected a "three or higher," and 81 percent of CFOs in Europe expressed identical concern. This remains consistent with their level of concern at the start of the year. CFOs were tentative to predict an outcome of the latest efforts by the ECB and the EU member states to solve the Euro crisis (53 percent of CFOs in the U.S. and 37 percent of CFOs in Europe believed it was "too early to tell").
Among the CFOs who did foresee an outcome, more U.S. respondents felt the actions would be insufficient to prevent further instability and ultimately lead to one or more countries leaving the Eurozone (41 percent of total respondents), while 35 percent of European CFOs felt that the outcome would be successful in stabilizing the debt crisis and ultimately help further integrate the Eurozone.
The majority of CFOs shared their belief that China is a sound competitor (65 percent of U.S. CFOs and 61 percent of European CFOs), but their current activity with the country varied by region. In the quarterly survey, U.S. CFOs stated that generally their companies are not currently doing business with China (64 percent) while close to a third (33 percent) either sell or produce in China. In contrast, 43 percent of European CFOs stated that they currently do business with China, split evenly between those that sell to China and those that produce in China.
U.S. respondents believe that the U.S. dollar exchange will strengthen against the euro and the pound in the next six to 12 months, while weakening against the Yen during the same time period. In Europe, CFOs on average expect the exchange rate to remain relatively unchanged.