Economic Outlook CE CFO Survey


Economic outlook

Central Europe CFO Survey 2018

What are CFOs’ expectations for economic environment development? What kind of expectations do they have for factors like GDP or inflation? What is likely to happen with unemployment?

Key facts

  • Positive expectations for factors like GDP, unemployment, inflation and interest rates abound across most markets.
  • In particular, GDP growth is regarded positively, with predictions ranging from 1.8% in Ukraine to 2.9% in Slovakia.

CFO Confidence Index

Overall, the participating CFOs display more confidence than in previous editions of the survey. The CFO Confidence Index has risen by 10 pp, from 13% last time to 23%.

This rise is mainly driven by increased optimism among finance function leaders regarding future macro-economic conditions.

GDP growth

CFOs are again more optimistic on GDP growth. The proportion of CFOs expecting high or very high GDP growth in 2018 has nearly doubled since the last survey (from 21% to 41%). Similarly, the mean of CFOs’ predictions for GDP growth has risen from 1.9% to 2.4%. CFOs in Slovenia and Bulgaria expressed the highest optimism about GDP growth in 2018, with 55% and 54% of respondents respectively expecting growth of at least 2.6%. The most conservative CFOs are those from Ukraine, where less than one in five respondents expect such a fast growth rate.

Economic outlook


There is a consensus among CFOs that unemployment rates in Central Europe countries will fall during 2018. The Czech Republic was the only country to deliver a negative net balance of answers. Interestingly, the sentiment is quite the opposite in neighbouring Slovakia, where 100% of respondents expect unemployment to fall.

CFOs from the Consumer Business, Manufacturing and Construction & Real Estate sectors are the most optimistic about prospective unemployment levels, with half or more respondents expecting unemployment to fall in 2018. The most pessimistic CFOs represent the Technology, Media, Telecommunications (TMT) and Business & Professional Services sectors, where more than 25% of respondents expect unemployment to increase.

Download the report to find out more about:

  • CPI
  • Interest rates