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Focus on cost control, no retreat on growth

Deloitte CFO Survey: 2017 Q4

January 2018

The quarterly CFO Survey is firmly established with media and policy makers as the authoritative barometer of UK corporates’ sentiment and strategies. It is the only survey of major corporate users of capital that gauges attitudes to valuations, risk and financing.

Key findings

  • Domestic concerns top CFOs’ risk list, with Brexit concerns mounting
  • Focus on cost control highest in eight years
  • Despite uncertainties CFOs determined to grow their businesses

Explore the data

Download the PDF to access all the historical data series from the Deloitte CFO Survey. Data from the CFO Survey is also hosted on Thomson Reuters Datastream, Bloomberg, Factset and Macrobond. Please feel free to use any of the data series in your documents or presentations.

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“In a world of accelerating growth and buoyant equity markets, domestic risks loom large and reining in costs can help CFOs counter these concerns.

“Despite December’s movement in Brexit talks, CFO’s concerns about Brexit have mounted and it remains at the top of the list of risks for business in 2018. Weak UK growth follows as the second greatest risk facing business this year, with concern about productivity in third place.

“CFOs enter 2018 more focussed on controlling costs than at any time in the last eight years. Despite this, CFOs are more optimistic today than they have been over recent years, and perceptions of uncertainty are far lower than during the euro crisis and following the referendum."

Ian Stewart, chief economist at Deloitte

“Encouragingly, far from backing away from growth as they did in previous periods of uncertainty, CFOs are putting increased weight on expansion. The priority CFOs attach to expansion over the next 12 months, whether organically, through acquisitions, introducing new products and services or moving into new markets, is at its highest level since we first asked this question in 2009.

“While the impact of Brexit remains the dominant concern for CFOs, it has not forced a retreat from growth or crushed the animal spirits of the corporate sector. The central challenge for UK business over the next 12 months will be achieving growth in an environment of stringent cost-control.”

David Sproul, senior partner and chief executive at Deloitte

Previous editions

The Deloitte CFO Survey: 2017: Q3
Optimism bounces

The Deloitte CFO Survey: 2017 Q2
Post election dip in business confidence

The Deloitte CFO Survey: 2017 Q1
Brexit shock eases

The Deloitte CFO Survey: 2016 Q4
Greater optimism yet to ignite risk appetite

The Deloitte CFO Survey: 2016 Q3
Brexit looms large

The Deloitte CFO Survey: 2016 Q2
Brexit blow to business confidence

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