Survey: Election Won’t Affect Hiring, Capital Spending

NEW YORK — A majority of U.S. business executives say this year’s presidential election will not affect business planning for their next fiscal year, except hiring or capital expenditures, a survey by the American Institute of CPAs finds.

Of those surveyed, 65% of the CEOs, chief financial officers, controllers and other senior-level CPAs say the outcome of the election is only one consideration or factor in their company’s business planning, budgeting or forecasting.

The election impact questions were included in AICPA’s first-quarter economic outlook survey, conducted Feb. 9 through 24.

According to the survey, 15% rated the election as a significant factor in their planning fo the next year, 23% a moderate factor, 26% slight or somewhat a factor, and 36% not a factor.

The election ranked fourth in impact, behind the health of the economy, the industry-specific outlook for survey takers’ businesses, and interest rates and costs of borrowing. It was tied in perceived impact with potential ramifications of the strong dollar, and ahead of volatility in equity markets.

“Company executives are clearly monitoring the potential business impact of the presidential election,” said Arleen R. Thomas, AICPA’s senior vice president for management accounting and global markets. “But overall economic conditions and challenges for their particular industries are weighing more heavily in their calculations right now, and that’s likely why we’re seeing little election-cycle impact on such key categories as hiring or capital spending.”

In terms of job creation and hiring, 56% sad the election isn’t a factor in hiring, 25% said they would continue to hire at their current pace, 13% were deferring hiring until after the election, 5% would reduce new hiring until after the election and 1% planned to increase hiring before the election.

With regard to expansion, 53% said the election isn’t a factor in capital expenditures and spending on business expansion, 27% planned to continue their levels of capital expenditures and business expansion, 10% would defer such expenditures until after the election, 8% would reduce such expenditures until after the election, and 2% planned to increase such expenditures before the election.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.