European CFO Survey Spring 2018
Undeterred by uncertainty
2017 was an extraordinary year for the European economy. The strength in Europe was driven by the euro area, which grew at its fastest pace in a decade. Will this steady upswing continue into 2018?
- Download the report
- About the European CFO Survey
- Infographic: European CFO Suvey: Undeterred by uncertainty
- Previous editions
- Key contacts
CFO confidence is boosted as uncertainty declines
A more positive economic environment has driven the rise in optimism and the decrease of uncertainy for Europe’s CFOs:
- This quarter shows a net balance of 32% of CFOs who are more optimistic than pessimistic, the highest amount reached since the beginning of the series. It is also the first time since Q1 2015 that, in all countries, CFOs who are optimistic about financial prospects outnumber those who are pessimistic
- The political shifts that affected the results in the Q1 2017 survey have now stabilised: this is reflected in a lower perception of uncertainty among CFOs. As well, growth outcomes have exceeded expectations and consumer confidence (as measured by the OECD’s Consumer Confidence Index) is at a ten-year high
- However, we do see a divide between those based in the euro area and those who are not, with the latter markedly less positive about the future. As well, perceptions of uncertainty are higher among CFOs in large businesses than in small and medium-size enterprises. The most prominent concerns among big-company CFOs relate to issues that might lead to disruption in international trade.
The time for digital is now
In a special edition chapter—The digital frontline—CFOs share their perspectives on digital disruption and some food for thought on the implications for business.
So, are European CFOs prepared for what’s on the digital horizon?
- 30% of CFOs are playing the strategic lead role when it comes to digital initiatives currently
- Almost 50% of Europe’s CFOs report that their company uses digital capabilities to improve processes extensively
- A net 15% plan to invest more in disruptive technologies (blockchain, cognitive analytics) over the next 12 months
- A net 55% of CFOs plan to increase investments in training employees on digital initiatives over the next 12 months.
Review the findings
Hear what our Chief Economists have to say
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 opinons of almost 1,652 CFOs based in 20 European countries: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the United Kingdom. CFOs were all contacted between February and April 2018.
The special edition chapter–The digital frontline–represents the consolidated views of up to 1,162 CFOs based in up to 15 European countries: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey.
European CFO Survey - Autumn 2017
CFOs switch focus to the longer term
European CFO Survey - Spring 2017
European CFO Survey- Autumn 2016
Growth prospects in an uncertain world
European CFO Survey - Spring 2016
Politics takes centre stage
European CFO Survey - Autumn 2015
Confidence heads South