In the third quarter of 2012, GE Capital surveyed the CFOs of 500 U.S. middle-market companies across seven distinct industries. Transportation respondents have revenues of $13 million and have an employee count of 84, on average. Unless otherwise noted, data comparisons are being made to the last wave of the GE Capital Mid-Market CFO Survey executed in the first quarter.
Current sentiment - Transportation CFOs are more positive about the current state of their industry, the U.S. economy and the global economy.
Economic growth - 82% say the U.S. economy will grow or stay the same over the next 12 months, a decrease of 10 points.
Company growth - 82% of CFOs expect limited to moderate company growth over the next 12 months, down 2 points.
Revenues - 44% expect their company's revenues to increase this year compared to last year, down 26 points. 38% percent expect revenues to remain the same, up 15 points.
Cost structure - Transportation CFOs (65%) have the highest expectations across all industries of increasing cost structure (up 5 points).
Business concerns - Transportation and healthcare CFOs lead all industries (87%) regarding concerns about the impact healthcare costs will have on their business over the next 12 months.
Pricing - Transportation CFOs lead all industries in their plans to raise prices (56%).
Hiring - 79% expect to hire in the next 12 months, the most bullish of all industries.
Equipment - Transportation CFOs lead all industries considering plans for financing for equipment (67%, down 1 point).
Credit availability - Transportation CFOs experienced the largest increase in credit availability across all industries (35% cite an increase, up 12 points).
Questions asked only of transportation respondents:
Concerns - 58% percent are most concerned about the impact fuel price volatility will have on their business (down nine points), followed by 56% who are most concerned about the impact of safety/truck accidents.
Regulations - When it comes to the impact of regulations on their business, 52% say they are most concerned about hours of service rules, followed by 37% who are most concerned about safety rules.
Business opportunities - In 2012, the greatest business opportunities are increasing average revenue per loaded mile (68%, up nine points) and increasing tonnage volume from existing customers (62%, up five points).