Why CFOs Are Optimistic About Their Companies' Prospects

Almost half of 801 U.S. CFOs surveyed this fall in an annual survey said they expect to hire new employees next year, nearly doubling the number who made the same prediction last year. Bank of America's CFO Outlook also showed business leaders are more optimistic about their own companies' futures than they are about the economy as a whole. Laura Whitley, senior vice-president for global commercial products at Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAC), spoke to Smart Answers columnist Karen E. Klein about the survey's optimistic outlook and how realistic it is. Edited excerpts of their conversation follow.

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