Only 23 percent of senior financial executives believethat the economy will improve in the next six months, according to a new pollby Grant Thornton, and 39 percent expect their company's headcount to decrease.

Seventy-seven percent of the 530 U.S. chief financialofficers and senior controllers who participated in the poll said that the U.S.economy would remain the same or get worse in the next six months. Only 31 percentexpect their company's prospects to improve over the next six months.

Eighty-seven percent of the senior financial executivespolled said that they believe the U.S. economy will remain in a recessionthrough the end of 2009. Only 15 percent expect the prices or fees charged bytheir company to increase in the next six months.

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