European CFO survey Q3 2015
Confidence heads South
Welcome to the second edition of the European CFO Survey, a major initiative of the EMEA CFO Programme. The Q3 Survey presents the opinions from nearly 1,300 CFOs across 15 European countries on such critical issues as risk appetite, funding, and the Greek crisis.
What are European CFOs telling us?
The mood of European CFOs has deteriorated in the last six months.
Europe has this year experienced the turmoil of another Greek debt crisis as well as growing concerns over the strength of the global economic recovery, in particular prospects for growth in key emerging markets such as China. The recent Syrian refugee crisis has further illustrated how external shocks can quickly impact internal affairs.
These events have created a sense of heightened uncertainty among European CFOs. Download the report to find out more.
There has been a general fall in sentiment and risk appetite...
...amid growing perceptions of external economic and financial uncertainty. Financial optimism fell between Q1 and Q3 2015 from 15% to 2% when looking at the GDP weighted results, with a slightly greater fall for euro area member countries, dropping by a further 3 percent.
Sentiment has fallen most in Europe’s larger northern economies...
...including Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway and the United Kingdom. They appear more exposed to the current concerns about global economic growth. This decline in optimism is consistent with the weaker export outlook for these countries.
Forecasts for global growth in 2015 and 2016 have been downgraded between Q1 and Q3...
...with a sharp slowing for many emerging market economies - key destinations for exports for countries like Germany and the Netherlands. The perception of CFOs based in Germany of external economic and financial uncertainty remains the highest among the 15 European countries
But the outlook for Europe’s periphery appears surprisingly more positive...
… with CFOs in Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Spain now the most optimistic of our group. These countries have seen significant upgrades to growth forecasts in both 2015 and 2016 over the course of this year. Capex intentions are in general higher and employment intentions stronger, and the outlook for revenues and operating margins for Ireland, Italy and Spain are also well above the European average. This broadly mirrors the recent improved economic development and growth outlook the last quarters.
CFOs are, however, more united in their focus on cost control...
… when asked about strategic priorities. CFOs in 12 countries list cost reduction or cost control as one of their top three for the next year.
This summer’s Greek crisis has damaged long term prospects for stability...
...and a more closely integrated European monetary union, according to almost half of the CFOs (48%). Just 18% believe prospects had improved.
About the European CFO Survey
The European CFO Survey is part of a global cohort of surveys benchmarking the current and future intentions and opinions of European Chief Financial Officers. The findings discussed in this report are representative of the options of 1,298 CFOs based in 15 European countries: Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. CFOs were all contacted between July and October 2015. Results from Poland represent preliminary data.