Press Release 3 minute read

Two-thirds of business executives say the U.S. economy will recover within a year

29 May 2020

TMF Group Report Shows Optimism from American business executives; Over Half See Their Businesses Rebounding in Six Months.

Despite the widespread business and health challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, two-thirds of American business leaders are optimistic the U.S. economy will make a full recovery within the next year, according to a new survey from professional services firm TMF Group.

Nearly three-quarters (74.7%) of survey respondents have some level of confidence in the economy, bolstered by the massive government stimulus package to support businesses and workers. 

“It’s an encouraging sign that business leaders in the U.S. are expressing this type of optimism, particularly based on the unprecedented challenges experienced throughout the economy over the last few months,” said Larry Harding, TMF Group’s head of North America. “This group was obviously very confident before the onset of the pandemic, and they now seem eager to not only restart their businesses but help reignite the economy as well.” 

Looking beyond the U.S., business executives were a little less optimistic but still positive: 56% said the global economy would recover within a year. Correspondingly, business decision makers are confident their businesses will rebound quickly. More than half say their companies will return to normal operations within six months. Their financial recovery will be slower: 42% say they will bounce back financially in six months.

The health of international supply chains was found to be a major concern. Respondents said they are considering reducing risk in locations such as China, Italy and the United Kingdom, countries that also have dealt with significant outbreaks of the virus.

“COVID-19 has impacted supply chains globally, and multinational companies that have borne the brunt of this impact have had to optimize their flexibility. Yet they are still expressing optimism that each market can synchronize their operational recoveries in a safe, efficient manner,” Harding added.

Despite uncertainty, about a third of respondents said they are planning to accelerate domestic or international business expansion, as they are looking for opportunities to fuel growth coming out of the pandemic. The top countries for international business expansion are Canada, the United Kingdom, and Mexico, a sign of confidence following the passage of the USMCA trade agreement in January.

“The survey illustrates that business leaders are rapidly reacting to challenges, reassessing what they do and reconfiguring their companies to adapt to the disruption,” said Mark Weil, chief executive officer of TMF Group. “Given the level of geographic risk, even after supply chains globally return to full operation, many of those who conduct multinational operations will look to diversify supply chains as part of their domestic and international expansion plans.” 

Other major findings from the survey include:

  • Three-in-five respondents (61%) say the impact of stimulus efforts from the federal government have had a very positive or somewhat positive effect on their businesses.
  • 60% of respondents say they will introduce a revised home working policy as a result of COVID-19, with 48% of respondents introducing more stringent health and safety policies.
  • Nearly a quarter (23%) of respondents expect a V-shaped economic recovery, meaning a short, sharp collapse followed by a dramatic bounce to pre-virus activity by the end of 2020.

The full report can be found by visiting here.

About TMF Group:

TMF Group is the leading provider of administrative support services for international business expansion. With some 7,800 experts – in-house, on the ground in over 80 locations – and is the only company worldwide to provide the combination of fiduciary, company secretarial, accounting and tax and HR and payroll services essential to the success of businesses investing, operating and expanding across multiple jurisdictions. We know how to unlock access to some of the world’s most attractive markets – no matter how complex – swiftly, safely and efficiently. That’s why over 60% of the Fortune Global 500 and FTSE 100 and almost half of the top 300 private equity firms use us.

About the research: 

TMF Group commissioned FINN Partners to survey 300 business executives from multinational companies with more than $100 million in annual revenue on a range of national and global economic issues. The aim of the survey was to obtain a deeper understanding of U.S. business sentiment and how companies plan to navigate these uncertain times. Those surveyed included C-level executives/business owners (55.7% of respondents), Presidents and Managing Directors (25%), and other executives from the information technology, financial services, manufacturing, and professional services industries, among others.


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