Bringing The World Home To You

© 2023 WUNC North Carolina Public Radio
120 Friday Center Dr
Chapel Hill, NC 27517
919.445.9150 | 800.962.9862
91.5 Chapel Hill 88.9 Manteo 90.9 Rocky Mount 91.1 Welcome 91.9 Fayetteville 90.5 Buxton 94.1 Lumberton 99.9 Southern Pines
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
00000177-6edd-df44-a377-6fff44880001Related: Live National Updates From NPR

Duke Survey: Politics Will Dampen Business Spending Even After Election

Composite photo of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.
U.S. Embassy and Gage Skidmore

This year, political uncertainty could dampen business investment even after the outcome of the election isn’t uncertain.

According to the latest latest Duke University/CFO Global Business Outlook survey, as many as one-third of chief financial officers will hold back on investment even after the election. It’s not uncommon for businesses to slow spending before an election, particularly before a presidential election, but that investing tends to normalize again not long after early November.

"It is surprising to hear a fair number of business leaders say they will continue to wait and see after the election, until it becomes clearer how the new president and Congress will lead," said John Graham, a finance professor at Duke's Fuqua School of Business and director of the survey. "We're accustomed to seeing investment falling in the September before an election, but that uncertainty usually dissipates on Election Day and investment levels return to normal in December. This year, the dampening effect of political uncertainty will continue past Election Day."

In comparing candidates, 40 percent of CFOs said they will hold off on investment if Hillary Clinton is elected while 33 percent said the same about Donald Trump. Other findings include:

  • About 26 percent of all U.S. firms said they are already delaying investment because of the election.
  • Among the majority of firms not currently delaying investment because of the election, about one quarter said they would change course and delay investment plans if Clinton was elected, and another quarter said they would do the same if Trump wins.

Leoneda Inge is WUNC’s race and southern culture reporter, the first public radio journalist in the South to hold such a position. She also is co-host of the podcast Tested and host of the special podcast series, PAULI. Leoneda is the recipient of numerous awards from AP, RTDNA and NABJ. She’s been a reporting fellow in Berlin and Tokyo. You can follow her on Twitter @LeonedaInge.
Jason deBruyn is the WUNC health reporter, a beat he took in 2020. He has been in the WUNC newsroom since 2016.
Related Stories
More Stories