US companies are scaling back plans to hire workers and an increasing number of firms believe that the European debt crisis is having an impact on their sales growth, according to a survey by the National Association for Business Economics (NABE).
A poll of 67 of its members between 14 and 26 June found that 23% planned to take on new staff in the next six months, against a figure of 39% when NABE previously polled members in March. Around 40% of the firms surveyed have more than 1,000 employees.
The latest survey found that 47% of companies believed their sales have dropped due to the continuing sovereign debt crisis and economic problems in much of Europe. This was nearly double the percentage that reported poor sales in March. Among companies that are manufacturers rather than service providers the impact was even greater, with nearly four in five reporting a Europe-driven decline in revenues.
Recent US economic data has suggested that at least some of the hiring slowdown has been due to caution rather than a decline in business. On 6 July the Labour Department issued a report indicating that companies asked employees to work longer hours in June, even though they slowed the pace of hiring.
The country is expected to survive the review, which it must do to retain its place in the European Central Bank’s asset purchase programme.
The bank believes that the battered UK currency, recently only just holding above the US$1.20 level, could be trading at US$1.36 by this time next year.
The Middle East oil producer’s debut global bond issue surpassed the total of US$16.5bn raised by Argentina when it tapped the market earlier this year.
The group reports that currency fluctuations were less of a challenge to multinationals in the second quarter of 2016, but Brexit has since spelt a return to volatility.