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Senior execs see improvement ahead

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Senior corporate decision-makers are considerably more optimistic about their company and industry performance this year than they were last year, according to new research from Doremus and its client Financial Times .

They're also slightly more optimistic about the global economy this year, according to the study, "Decision Dynamics." The study, which was released to Doremus clients last month, was based on interviews with 426 senior executives from around the world and across a range of industries.

According to the research, 68% of senior executives expect their company's overall performance to improve in 2004 over 2003, compared with only 24% of executives that expected their company's performance to improve last year over 2002. Only 10% of executives said they expect their company's performance to decline this year, compared with 55% that expected their company's performance to decline in 2003.

With regard to their industry, 61% of executives said they expect their overall industry performance to improve in 2004, up from 31% last year.

Only 14% of respondents said they expect their industry's performance to decline this year, compared with 38% that expected their industry's performance to decline in 2003.

On a global level, 53% said they expect the global economy to improve this year, up slightly from 50% last year. Twenty-seven percent of executives said they expect the global economy to decline in 2004, down from 38%.

"Executives feel more optimistic about their industry and their company, perhaps because they have figured out how to cope with this kind of environment," said Hope Picker, director of research at Doremus.

The research also found that executives are increasing spending on new products and services, IT, research and development, and other areas.

The study was conducted online in June among C-level and exec VP-level executives at global companies. Last year's was conducted online in March 2003 among 426 executives. M

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