15 June 2009 | Martha McKenzie-Minifie
Cost reduction programmes have been accelerated by the majority of organisations (86 per cent), according to a survey.
Ernst & Young polled executives at 570 global businesses. More than half of these had revenue in excess of $1 billion (£610 million).
The study found access to cash was becoming more difficult, compared with a similar survey conducted five months ago. Scott Halliday, UK and Ireland country managing partner at Ernst & Young, said buyers were focusing more on vendors as a result.
"Without easy access to credit, cash management becomes an even more essential discipline - sharpening the focus on customers, tightening the approach to suppliers," he said.
When asked when they expected an upturn, a quarter of those polled said the worst had happened, 42 per cent said some "signs of life" were evident in the economy or would be by the end of the year, while 21 per cent saw no recovery before the second half of 2010 at the earliest.