It's nearly Christmas and executives are predicting a lump of coal for 2009.
Two separate surveys show gloom extending well into the new year and perhaps beyond.
One survey shows that 81 percent of human resource and finance professionals making up 750 companies expect business to decline in 2009. The Mercer LLC survey reports that one third expect layoffs and most expect hiring freezes and diminished pay raises.
Another survey of chief financial offices by Duke's Fuqua Schoolof Business and CFO magazine shows that 60 pecent of CFOs surveyed do not expect any economic recovery until next year's fourth quarter and 40 percent don't see things getting better until 2010.
The only bright spots: most firms don't expect to cut employer contributions to 401 (k)s or iniate overall wage freezes.
And have a Happy New Year!