Romanian CFOs rank among the most optimistic in Central Europe yet remain cautious when it comes to new investments, according to the 5th edition of the Deloitte Central Europe CFO Survey.
The Survey also shows that the number one priority for most respondents is achieving revenue growth in current and new markets followed by cutting costs. Another top priority for CFOs is business remodeling and restructuring.
“The results of this edition of the survey reinforce the view that the financial environment remains volatile. This means that, despite improving macroeconomic indicators, most CFOs remain cautious. These are not easy times, and our respondents’ answers clearly reflect this”, said Ahmed Hassan, Country Managing Partner, Deloitte Romania. “However, they do feel matters have improved since the last two issues of the survey, giving us hope that there is light at the end of the tunnel. I believe that Romanian CFOs will have a challenging task to find the right balance between short-term profitability pressures on one hand, and investment in growth through innovation, new markets, system improvement and talent pools on the other.”
There is more optimism about the economic outlook, due to improved domestic and european macroeconomic indicators, the Survey has revealed. The strong GDP growth in 2013, based on better-than-expected performance of industry and agriculture, was mainly owed to increased export demand, therefore it is still early to rely on a new growth trend as the higher fiscal burden could still harm the business sentiment. Also the reluctance to make new investments could seriously affect potential GDP growth in the long term unless the Government steps in with efective measures to stimulate investments.
The perception regarding borrowing from banks remains the same as the majority of CFOs (59%) continue to believe that bank credit is difficult to obtain. Even so, the general belief (40% versus 20% six months ago) is that credit rates are likely to decrease in Romania over the next year. And if only six months ago CFOs were among the pessimistic in the region with respect to the cost of lending, they have now become among the most optimistic (38.5%).
Key Findings of the Survey among CFOs in Romania:
Regarding macro-economic indicators, CFOs show increased optimism as compared to the previous Survey:
- 92.6% of participants expect that the Romanian economy will continue to grow in 2014;
- 81.4% still consider risk levels high or above normal versus 90% in May;
- 58.3% of the CFOs have as main goal penetrating new markets as compared to 47.7% a year ago;
- 59% of respondents believe credit is difficult to obtain;
- 38.5% of respondents believe that interest rates are likely to decrease in Romania over the coming year, up from just 20% in May.
The 5th CE CFO Survey reflects opinions of almost 600 CFOs from Central Europe. The findings of CE CFO Survey are based on a questionnaire undertaken in 13 countries - Albania and Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia and Slovenia. Each survey captures shifts in local CFOs’ opinions on factors including risks, GDP growth and financing priorities and includes a regional analysis that takes into account results from all 13 countries.