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Business confidence brightens – according to CFO Survey

Wednesday 15th November, 2017

According to Deloitte’s latest European CFO Survey business leaders across Europe are more optimistic than they were six months ago and the outlook for revenue growth, hiring and capital spending is improving.

The survey found 43% of Europe’s CFOs say they are more optimistic about the prospects for their company than they were three months ago, up from 38% in Q1’s survey. Just 11% say they are less optimistic, down from 13%.

69% of CFOs are confident that their firm will increase revenues over the next 12 months. 73% of CFOs in euro area countries predict revenue growth, compared to 63% in non-euro countries.

52% of European CFOs say there is a high level of financial and economic uncertainty, down from 61% in Q1. The level of overall uncertainty is its lowest since the launch of the European CFO Survey in Q1 2015.

CFOs in the UK have the highest reading on perceptions of uncertainty at 85%, while CFOs in Austria had the lowest.

33% of European CFOs say now is a good time to take greater risks onto their balance sheets, unchanged from Q1’s survey. 58% of CFOs in Ireland say they plan to increase capex, the highest, compared to just 22% in the UK.

38% of CFOs say they plan to increase employee numbers in the next 12 months, up from 34% in Q1, with just 12% of CFOs in the UK set to increase hiring. 

Ian Stewart, chief economist at Deloitte, said, “Buoyed by stronger growth and improving consumer confidence, CFOs across Europe are more optimistic about the outlook for their companies and preparing to increase hiring and spending. This is particularly prominent in euro area countries, with higher levels of optimism, risk appetite and willingness to invest than their counterparts outside the currency bloc.”

The CFO Survey gathered the views of 1,546 CFOs in 19 European countries.

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