November 1998 Issue


On January 1, 1999, members of the European Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) will lock their national currencies to the euro. The impact of the EMU and euro on world business will be enormous--and unpredictable. Harris Research recently conducted a survey on behalf of KPMG to assess U.S. companies' awareness, preparation, and expectation for this impending event. Results are based on the responses of 193 CFOs and IT executives.

The survey results found that, generally, U.S. businesses are aware of EMU, and have made it a priority issue. Though much work has been done in reviewing EMU issues, the survey finds that there are still weaknesses at the strategic planning level. Companies expect long-term positive benefits from EMU, but have not implemented short-term strategies to their advantage. Too often, planning for EMU involves reactive, defensive tactics that ignore the dramatic challenges and benefits. This survey shows that a higher level of priority is being given to minimizing the risks, costs, and effects of the change, as opposed to low-priority structural changes that take advantage of this new environment. *

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