The robots are coming
Brexit blow to business confidence
Deloitte CFO Survey: 2016 Q2
The quarterly CFO Survey is firmly established with media and policy makers as the authoritative barometer of UK corporates’ sentiment and strategies. It is the only survey of major corporate users of capital that gauges attitudes to valuations, risk and financing.
- Uncertainty soars while optimism, risk appetite and revenue expectations drop sharply
- CFOs shift to defensive strategies, predicting slowdowns in hiring and capital spending
- Business calls for clarity on EU negotiations and support for banking system.
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“CFOs do not seem to be waiting for growth to slow before adjusting direction. There has been a marked shift to more defensive balance sheet strategies in the wake of the referendum, with a focus on reducing costs, building up cash flow and caution on all forms of spending.
“Corporate willingness to take risk has seen one its largest ever declines while the outlook for capital spending, hiring and discretionary spending is at levels last seen just before the so-called “double dip” slowdown of 2012.
“Perceptions of uncertainty have soared to levels last associated with the euro crisis five years ago. The spike in uncertainty has had a toxic effect on business sentiment with optimism dropping to the lowest level since our survey started in 2007, lower, even, than in the wake of the failure of Lehman in late 2008.
“However, the immediate scale of post referendum shock has not been of the same scale than 2008. Sterling has fallen faster but UK equities have proved more resilient. Consumer confidence in July recorded its sharpest monthly fall in almost 22 years, but it remains much stronger than in was post-Lehman.”
Ian Stewart, Chief Economist at Deloitte