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GROWTH COMPANY CEOS REGAIN LOST OPTIMISM IN U.S. ECONOMY, COOPERS & LYBRAND 'TRENDSETTER BAROMETER' FINDS

 GROWTH COMPANY CEOS REGAIN LOST OPTIMISM IN U.S. ECONOMY,
 COOPERS & LYBRAND 'TRENDSETTER BAROMETER' FINDS
 NEW YORK, April 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Displaying renewed confidence in the direction of the U.S. economy, two out of three CEOs of America's fastest growing companies now say they are guardedly optimistic about the latest results of Coopers & Lybrand's "Trendsetter Barometer" survey. And only one CEO in 10 remains pessimistic -- half the number as last quarter.
 Says Daniel J. O'Brien, national director of Coopers & Lybrand's Emerging Business Services group, "Growth company CEOs have regained the optimistic outlook they expressed last September, an amazing recovery considering their bleak outlook as recently as December." The number of CEOs expressing guarded optimism about the economy dropped from 64 percent in September to 42 percent in December, but rebounded to 68 percent this March.
 Looking ahead to year-end 1992, four in five of the 362 growth company CEOs surveyed now see positive economic growth for the country as a whole. They predict a national growth rate in 1992 of 2.90 percent, a significant increase from the 2.07 percent they forecasted for 1991 last December.
 The economic optimism of "Trendsetter Barometer" CEOs is also reflected in their corporate forecasts and planning. Survey respondents expect their own corporate growth rate to climb to 27 percent overall over the nest 12 months -- three percentage points higher than previously anticipated.
 Growth Companies Plan To Add Jobs In 1992
 O'Brien sees this renewed optimism as a good sign overall, "Fast- growth companies are the engines that can drive the U.S. economy," says O'Brien. "They are a major source of employment and a critical group of customers for large companies."
 Eighty percent of CEOs surveyed say they plan to add employees in the next 12 months, a strong uptick from 73 percent in the previous quarter. Only three percent now plan to reduce their workforce in the coming year, a decline from 7 percent last quarter.
 Workers with specialized knowledge will be a major emphasis for new hiring, the survey found. Half of these CEOs say they plan to hire, additional professionals and technicians, and 46 percent are seeking to add sales and marketing positions.
 Coopers & Lybrand's "Trendsetter Barometer" is developed and compiled by the firm's Emerging Business Service group with assistance from the opinion and economic research firm of Business Science International. At each Coopers & Lybrand office, an Emerging Business Service team is available to serve the needs of growing and midsize companies.
 One of the leading accounting, tax and consulting firms, Coopers & Lybrand provides solutions for businesses in a wide range of industries. The firm offers its clients the expertise of more than 17,000 professionals and staff in 100 U.S. offices and more than 67,000 people in 117 countries worldwide.
 -0- 4/15/92
 /NOTE TO EDITORS: Camera-ready graphic art available upon request. Coopers & Lybrand's "Trendsetter Barometer" interviewed CEOs of 362 manufacturing and service companies identified in the media as the fastest-growing U.S. businesses over the last five years. The surveyed companies range in size from approximately $1 million to $50 million in annual revenues/sales.
 /CONTACT: Maggie O'Donovan of Coopers & Lybrand, 212-536-3174/ CO: Coopers & Lybrand ST: New York IN: FIN SU: ECO


TS-SM -- NY056 -- 8705 04/15/92 12:36 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 15, 1992
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