The spring survey optimism has already evaporated: CFOs in Switzerland now see the economy in Switzerland and its main trading partners a lot more negatively. Companies’ prospects have also deteriorated, yet their financial outlook remains good, as do sales expectations. Overall, most companies expect their businesses to remain successful despite the downturn.
About the report
The Swiss CFO survey provides an overview of the financial attitudes of Chief Financial Officers and Group Finance Directors of major companies based in Switzerland. Published bi-annually, the Swiss Survey is aligned to the European CFO survey, including a mix of questions relevant to the CFO at a business environment, company and operational level.
The optimism expressed by Swiss CFOs in early spring has cooled and they now rate the outlook for the Swiss economy and that of the country’s major trading partners much more negatively. A majority of CFOs remain optimistic about the outlook for the Swiss and US economies in particular but expectations for the German and Chinese economies have deteriorated.
The corporate outlook is also less rosy than in H1 2023, although a majority of CFOs still rate it as positive. Most remain optimistic about their company’s financial prospects and revenues. CFOs are very concerned about costs but, overall, despite this slightly gloomier outlook, they do not expect their businesses to falter.
Swiss CFOs have a clear ‘wish list’ for the country’s newly elected Parliament. More than two thirds want it to address cybersecurity, bilateral relations with the EU, and the security of Switzerland’s energy supply.
Only a small number of companies categorically rule out using generative AI; the overwhelming majority say they are being briefed on it and monitoring trends. A shortage of skills is the greatest obstacle to a wider rollout. Nevertheless, generative AI has potential uses almost across the board, and CFOs believe it is somewhat relevant or very relevant to almost all the functions listed in the Survey.
Top 10 company risks ranked by CFOs in Switzerland
Pressure on prices, costs and margins
Monetary policy / interest rates
Internal company problems
Geopolitical risks / war
Previous Deloitte CFO Survey editions
First half-year 2023Ray of hope
Second half-year 2022Is Switzerland facing the threat of stagflation?
First half-year 2022A damper on economic recovery
Second half-year 2021The economy recovers, but uncertainty remains
First half-year 2021Glimmers of hope for recovery
Second half-year 2020The long road back from the crisis
Summer 2020Switzerland between recession and recovery
First half-year 2020Addressing the crisis successfully
Second half-year 2019Swiss companies preparing for stormier times
First half-year 2019Growth outlook: Switzerland still good, Europe returns to mediocrity
Second half-year 2018Is the boom at an end?
First half-year 2018Summer in Switzerland: a mini-boom, negative interest rates and skills shortages
Autumn 2017Optimistic autumn
Summer 2017Optimistic summer
Spring 2017Brighter horizons, but concerns remain
Winter 2016A positive outlook for 2017
Autumn 2016Higher growth rates back on the horizon