Central Europe CFO Survey
The economic growth rate in Central European countries accelerated in 2016, and most countries in the region saw falling unemployment. These economic improvements are leading to a positive outlook on the future.
Unlike the previous year, CE-based CFOs are optimistic about the future for the economy: the Economic Confidence Index rose to +11 in 2017, up from -18 in 2016.
Negative GDP growth is not expected in any of the countries covered by the research. CFOs predict average GDP growth of 1.9%.
The CFOs we questioned for the 2016 survey expected a higher rate of GDP growth than was achieved during the year. However, growth during the third quarter of 2016 surpassed their predictions.
CFOs also expect such positive changes to have an impact on unemployment rates, with the majority of respondents predicting a larger fall than we saw the previous year.
Most CFOs expect Consumer Price Index to rise in 2017. There was widespread agreement among CFOs from all countries, sectors and sizes of company on this issue and on their expectations for GDP growth and falling unemployment.
This year we asked the CFOs for their opinions on the consequences of Brexit. The responses were mixed. It appears that the severity of the consequences they predict depends more on the sectors in which their companies operate than on whether or not they are based in member-states of the EU or eurozone. The CFOs of companies in the Life Science and Consumer Business sectors are the most worried, while those in the Energy, Utilities, Mining and Public sectors expect Brexit to bring positive changes.
The two most frequently mentioned consequences of Brexit were restrictions in workforce mobility and decreased export opportunities due to tariff barriers.