The latest Duke University/CFO Global Business Outlook finds that optimism among Chief Financial Officers is somewhat lower in Asia, being at 60 on a 100-point scale, a fall from the previous quarter’s 63.6 points.
Economic uncertainty, difficulty attracting employees, government policies, and weak demand for products are top concerns. Meanwhile, a median 3 percent capital spending and flat employment growth are expected.
The study also reveals that half of Asian companies indicate that a shortage of managerial talent is preventing them from pursuing value-enhancing projects, greater than the one-third say that a shortage of non-managerial labor does the same.
The top factors driving the shortage of managerial workers are financial constraints, ability to get new managers up to speed quickly and lack of bandwidth for current employees.
IT shortages in Asia consist primarily of lack of innovation/product development support, sales and marketing support and operations support.
As one sign that Asian economies have cooled, most companies indicate that they have fewer back-logged value-enhancing projects now relative to three years ago.