2014 Q4 Belgian CFO survey
Outlook 2015: Reasonable Year, Prudent Growth
The highest proportion of CFOs in the last 2 years (20%) report that their capital expenditure is likely to increase in the next 12 months, which represents an increase of 17% between Q3 and Q4 2014.
CFOs have a lot to worry about. One third of our survey participants consider the external financial and economic uncertainty high or very high, more than double than a year ago. Geopolitical risks, growth prospects in the euro area and in emerging markets and the competitiveness of their own companies are important concerns.CFOs have less faith in the Belgian economy as has the National Bank, expecting only about half of the 1% GDP growth officially forecasted. But overall CFO optimism has recovered from the dip in the third quarter. CFOs are specifically positive about topline growth potential in 2015, and many plan to increase capital expenditure. Domestic politics fuels the optimism, as CFOs report to believe that new government’s policies will have a positive impact on business in Belgium, also in the long run. Companies prioritize prudent growth strategies, and focus on organic expansion and the introduction of new products and services in existing markets.