CFOs of retail companies have fairly tepid views on business prospects for 2016, following a poor year that was capped by disappointing holiday-season sales. Among 100 retailer finance chiefs polled by BDO, three quarters said they expect sales to increase this year, but on average they pegged the increase at only 3.4%. That’s down from 3.9% in last year’s annual survey of such CFOs by the auditing and advisory firm, and 5.1% the year before that. “That 3.4% is not a very strong outlook,” says Doug Hart, a partner in BDO’s consumer business practice. Historically — meaning, before the 2009-2010 recession — such forecasts routinely topped 4%, he notes. Also dampening retail CFOs’ moods, holiday sales increases significantly trailed forecasts. With mall traffic down, sales in brick-and-mortar stores were flat during the holidays, and a bump-up for e-commerce and mobile commerce wasn’t strong enough to compensate for it, Hart notes. Read more at CFO.