Focus on cost control, no retreat on growth
Deloitte CFO Survey: 2017 Q4
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.
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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
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