In this edition, CFOs report that they face new challenges, such as a shortage of skilled professionals, increasing regulation and high commodity prices, whilst the COVID-19 pandemic is becoming less dominant.

Consequently, this survey reveals that although business confidence remains high, it has faded a little since the spring. In particular, the latest price developments have led CFOs to update their inflation expectations noticeably.

“In general, we see that companies are finding themselves in a confident position as outlook uncertainties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic now seem less dominant. However, exceptions apply to companies facing pressure from high commodity prices and supply chain difficulties causing CFOs to expect operating margins to decrease rather than rise in the near future”.

Kim Hendil Tegner, Partner & Leader of Deloitte’s CFO Programme in Denmark

Deloitte’s European CFO Survey for autumn 2020 gives insights into the attitudes and views of 1,330 CFOs in 17 countries and across a wide range of industries. The data for this edition of the survey were collected in September 2021.

According to our survey, CFOs are currently confident about the financial prospects for their company, though slightly less so than in the spring survey. Business confidence has deteriorated particularly in countries outside the Euro area, having leapt a year ago in the autumn 2020 survey. Survey respondents in the UK currently faced with a complex mix of supply problems mostly due to the consequences of Brexit reported the biggest drop as the net balance (the difference between the share of positive and negative answers) plunged from 77 per cent to 17 per cent. In the Euro area, CFOs’ business confidence softened only marginally. But the results varied considerably across the area.

The risks seen by CFOs over the next 12 months have changed somewhat. As economic activity has continued to recover, weak demand is no longer seen as a major problem by survey respondents. Rather, CFOs are facing several supply-side problems, such as a shortage of skilled professionals, increasing regulation and high commodity prices. Nevertheless, CFOs’ revenue expectations over the next 12 months brightened slightly from an already high level. 80 per cent of CFOs expect higher revenues, and only 9 per cent reduced ones, resulting in a climb in the net balance from 67 per cent to 71 per cent in the spring survey.

CFOs report less uncertainty compared to the spring survey, in line with the overall improving state of the economy. Similarly, investment and, especially, employment expectations have continued to strengthen, and further expansion remains the strategic priority.

Enjoy the read!


Kim Hendil Tegner

Partner, Leder af Deloittes CFO-program

+45 30 93 64 46

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