MONTVALE, N.J. -- A plurality of corporate controllers expect the U.S. economy to emerge from the recession weaker than before, according to a survey by the controllers council of the Institute of Management Accountants.

The survey found that 43% of the controllers foresee a weaker post-recession economy. About 25% said the economy would emerge the same as it was before the recession, and 32% said it would be stronger.

But 59% said they expect their own companies to emerge stronger. But contrast, 25% expect to return to their prerecession position, and only 16% fear their companies will be weaker.

"This is an interesting contradiction," said Jonathan Schiff, consulting director of the controllers council and professor of accounting at Fairleigh Dickinson University. "Many controllers apparently feel their companies will emerge into a weaker economy but will be in a stronger position."

Rating their industries rather than just their companies, 37% said they believe their own industry would emerge from the recession in a stronger position, 34% said it would be the same as before the recession, and 29% said they expect it to be weaker.

The survey questionnaire went to 3,500 of the council's 90,000 members in the last week of June, and 36%, or about 1,260, responded.

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