Canadian executives grow more pessimistic: survey

Mon Feb 23, 2009 11:27am EST
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TORONTO (Reuters) - Canadian executives are more negative about the economy than they were three months ago and many are looking to cut staffing levels, capital expenditures, and marketing costs in the next year, according to a survey in the Globe and Mail Newspaper on Monday.

The survey of 150 top executives was conducted from late January to early February. It found that almost 90 percent expected the economy to decline either moderately or strongly in the next 12 months.

Nearly two-thirds said credit was more difficult to access than it was three months earlier.

The Globe said 80 percent of the executives were considering cutting capital spending in response to the downturn. More than half were looking at trimming marketing costs, 40 percent said they would cut staffing levels, and 35 percent considered trimming back on research and development.

The paper said those surveyed "expressed an almost unanimous confidence that their own company will be able to weather the recession," but added that more than 80 percent said this downturn is the worst they had ever seen.

The survey was conducted for the Globe's Report on Business and for Business News Network by the Gandalf Group.

(Reporting by John McCrank; Editing by Peter Galloway)