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Small-Business CEOs See Economic Recovery on Horizon

86 percent expect turnaround by December 2002

TEC International, the world's largest organization of CEOs of small to midsized businesses, this week released the latest results of the TEC Index, a quarterly survey of chief executives. Each quarter, TEC International surveys its U.S. membership, which consists of more than 7,000 CEOs nationwide, on current economic trends and issues affecting today's business climate.

According to the 2002 Q1 TEC Index results, 60 percent of CEOs surveyed expect the U.S. economy will rebound this year, with an additional 26 percent reporting they believe the economy is already rebounding. Manufacturing, information technology and biotechnology were cited among the industries expected to rebound fastest, at 29 percent, 26 percent and 21 percent, respectively. With 78 percent of CEOs surveyed projecting an increase in their company's sales during the next 12 months (44 percent projecting an increase of more than 10 percent), optimism for an economic recovery continues to increase.

TEC CEOs reported they are actively planning to take full advantage of the expected upswing in the economy, with 54 percent repositioning their company to help accelerate growth. Additionally, 75 percent plan to increase marketing, and 35 percent plan to launch new products in an effort to revitalize business.

When asked how the current state of the economy has affected their business plans for Q2 and Q3 2002, 38 percent of CEOs indicated they plan to reduce capital expenditures, and 43 percent are reporting a modification in their business strategy. In addition, 86 percent reported either no change, or an increase in personnel, planned during the next 12 months. Lastly, in light of the current Enron situation, only 3 percent reported they are conducting additional audits to instill employee and investor confidence.

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