Optimism among CFOs about the U.S. economy and their own companies fell precipitously in the third quarter, according to a new survey.

The quarterly survey by Financial Executives International and Baruch College's Zicklin School of Business found that optimism about the economy fell to an all-time low in the third quarter among the 300 corporate CFOs surveyed, and also dipped when the CFOs were asked about their own companies' prospects. CFOs said they are making cutbacks in technology and capital spending, hiring, and inventory.

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