CHICAGO-U.S. retail chief financial officers are now expecting an increase of 4.5 percent in total retail sales for 2012, according to a survey conducted by consulting firm BDO USA.
The survey, the sixth annual BDO Retail Compass Survey of CFOs, turned up a more confident outlook from the financial executives about the overall economic picture than had emerged in similar surveys conducted in 2010 and 2011. While 57 percent of the responding chief financial officers expected a continuation of stagnant economic conditions in the near future, 32 percent of them forecasted an ongoing economic turnaround, up from 11 percent in last year’s survey.
“Consumers proved resilient through (the) back-to-school season, and that is fueling greater optimism for holiday sales results,” said Doug Hart, BDO’s partner in the Retail and Consumer Product Practice. “But retailers aren’t counting their dollars just yet. Forecasts are cautious as retailers closely watch unemployment, election results and inventory levels—any of which could throw a wrench in holiday results.”
The survey, conducted in August and September, received responses from chief financial officers of some of the largest retailers in the nation, including 11 percent of the top 100 retailers based on annual sales revenue.