The CFO Survey Q1 2015
Optimism returns as dollar tumbles
After a sluggish 2014, optimism among Australian CFOs appears to be returning in the first quarter of 2015.
This quarter’s results revealed a net 21% Australian CFOs now have confidence levels in a similar range to those seen in the UK and North America.
Federal government policy and the slowing Chinese economy continue to weigh on optimism, although their negative impact lessened of late. Policy and leadership uncertainty are of the greatest concern to CFOs.
A lower Australian dollar and record low interest rates are the two factors driving up optimism, with over 90% of CFOs now expecting the dollar to sit at or below US$0.80 in 12 months’ time.
Partly aided by that good news on interest and exchange rates, attitudes to risk have seen a remarkable turnaround: over 50% of CFOs believe now is a good time to take on risk. Credit remains both cheap and available, and gearing intentions have shot up from net negative 17% last quarter, to net positive 15% in the early stages of 2015.