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Deloitte CFO Survey: increasingly positive signals for the Swiss economy - but external risks remain high

For the first time since the end of 2014, a majority of CFOs polled are again optimistic with regards to the economic prospects for Switzerland.
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External environment dominates CFOs’ concerns

Deloitte CFO Survey - Summer 2016 Results

Despite the unfavourable external environment, the mood among Swiss CFOs is more positive than in our March 2016 Survey. Expectations for revenues are also positive, although there is sustained pressure on operating margins.

Brexit anxiety both in Switzerland and the UK

  • In the run-up to the UK referendum on EU membership, fears grew about the impact a Brexit decision would have on Swiss companies. From Q1 2016 to Q2 2016 (but before the referendum), the percentage of CFOs who believe that Brexit would have a negative impact on their company more than doubled from 17% to 42%.
  • The CFO Survey in the UK was conducted shortly after the referendum. Company sentiment worsened sharply with CFOs viewing the financial prospects for their companies more negatively than at any point since the UK survey started in 2007.

Focus on geopolitical risk, but Iranian market opens up opportunities

  • The external environment holds many challenges for Swiss companies, and geopolitical risks remain the major source of CFOs’ concern about risk to their own company.
  • However, CFOs also see opportunities, including Iran’s reintegration into the global economy.

Swiss economic outlook more positive

  • Despite the unfavourable external environment, the mood among Swiss CFOs is more positive than in our March 2016 Survey, around a third are optimistic about the country’s economic outlook over the next 12 months, while 18% are pessimistic.

About the CFO Survey

The survey comprises 20 questions which recur each quarter and around 10 questions unique to the financial conditions of the previous quarter. This allows us to provide you with both specific feedback on the market conditions relevant to the previous quarter, as well as ongoing trend analysis regarding how financial conditions are evolving and how your peers are reacting to them. 

The CFO Survey brings the views of CFOs to a wide audience in the media and among policy makers and is a valuable benchmark for Swiss business leaders.

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