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STRATEGY

Weaker Dollar Attracting Execs

While tougher on domestic firms, the cheaper U.S. dollar is drawing more foreign business leaders to the states.
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While American companies struggle to cope with a weaker U.S. dollar, stronger international exchange rates and a lower cost of living are attracting more foreign executives and investors to New York, Los Angeles and other major U.S. business centers, a pair of recent surveys show.

Of 250 U.S. CEOs polled by Grant Thornton, a Chicago-based consulting firm, 42 percent said the weak dollar was having a negative impact on business. Only 24 percent said the impact was positive, the survey found.

Reducing the federal budget deficit and lowering energy prices were cited as the two most important factors in strengthening the dollar's value. Still, nearly half of the executives surveyed said it would take up to two years for the dollar to recover.

At the same time, the weaker dollar is making the United States more attractive to foreign executives, business leaders and investors, according to Mercer.

As many as 19 U.S. cities dropped in ranking on the New York-based research firm's annual list of the world's most expensive places to live, including New York, Los Angeles, Miami and Washington D.C.

"The U.S. dollar's loss of value may serve to attract globally mobile executives to business centers, such as New York, Chicago and Los Angeles," said Mitch Barnes, principal at Mercer.

"The difference in cost of living can be significant, particularly for those executives with families," he said.

Last updated: Jul 24, 2008




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