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SEATTLE-A recent survey suggests the recession will linger until 2004 and that companies will consider relocating if public problems are not solved.

The Feary Group CFO Survey, conducted in conjunction with the Economic Development Council of Seattle & King County, surveyed CFOs of publicly traded companies headquartered in the greater Puget Sound area during the past three weeks.

“While the majority of responding CFOs believe the recession will linger until the first half of 2004 or later, there are some encouraging signs of recovery among the responses,” says Scott Selby, senior vice president of The Fearey Group. “But the real surprise is that 25 percent of the respondingCFOs said not solving problems such as traffic and the tax structure could cause their companies to relocate.”

Among encouraging signs of economic recovery, Selby pointed to the CFOs’ expectations in 2003 of improved profits, revenues and market capitalizations, capital expenditures and easier access to capital.

Regional CFOs indicated concern for the reputation of their companies when more than three-quarters said they will act in 2003 to enhance their company’s credibility.

“Learning that a number of Puget Sound companies may relocate if widely known hindrances to the growth of business in Puget Sound are not addressed tells us once again what we must do to make our region competitive,” says Art Scheunemann, president and CEO of the EDC.

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