About the report

Central Europe CFO Survey

CFOs across Central Europe are looking ahead to the next year with increased confidence, bolstered by 2016’s accelerating growth rates and falling unemployment in most countries across the region.

This predominating trend sets the context for the findings of this eighth edition of the Deloitte Central Europe CFO survey report, building on the perceived stability of the economic environment that we have reported for the last two years.

This year’s edition includes the second CFO Confidence Index, which again indicates the overall positivity of our respondents’ outlook for the year ahead. This is covered in detail in the first chapter of this report, and shows a significant 29-point rise in economic confidence over last year. While this optimism is not fully reflected in their expectations for the business environment, most CFOs nonetheless anticipate a good year ahead for their own companies.

Chapter 2 covers the economic outlook for the region, and once again reflects such optimistic attitudes with CFOs collectively anticipating positive growth rates for all countries covered by the report. In a new question this year, we asked CFOs about their opinions on Brexit. While the response was mixed – with opinions split between positive and negative expectations – there was some shared ground in expectations of restricted workforce mobility and decreased export opportunities.

In Chapter 3, we investigate the outlook for the business environment in which our CFOs operate. This is widely seen as uncertain, leading many respondents to resist any urge to take more risk on to their balance sheets. The greatest proportion of respondents feel that attracting suitably qualified employees and downward pricing pressures will be among the most pressing challenges they face.

Despite such concerns, CFOs are highly optimistic in their expectations for their own businesses during 2017. Chapter 4 describes their confidence in their companies’ ability to operate successfully in a testing business environment. Part of this confidence appears to be based on their continuing risk-aversion and the strict cost controls they plan to implement, complementing the rising revenues that many anticipate during the year ahead.

As last year, CFOs are clearly more confident about the future of their own organisations than the wider business environment in which they operate. This time, however, they are significantly more positive about their countries’ economic prospects. It will be very interesting to see how their expectations are reflected by the events across our region of the next 12 months.