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Persistent uncertainty takes its toll

Deloitte CFO Survey: 2019 Q3

October 2019

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

  • More CFOs are prioritising cost reduction than in late 2009, when the economy was emerging from recession;
  • Brexit remains the top concern for CFOs, and concern about slowing growth in the UK and the euro area is rising;
  • 70% of CFOs expect to reduce hiring in the next 12 months and just 3% expect to raise it.

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.

Email Tom Simmons to receive a copy of our spreadsheet containing our CFO Survey data.

“Perceptions of uncertainty are elevated and corporate risk appetite is vanishingly low. The priority appears to be curbing costs, not expansion. With Brexit cited as the biggest risk businesses face, the last quarter has also seen heightened concern over slowing growth in the UK and Eurozone and CFOs are tightening their purse strings in response.”

Ian Stewart, chief economist at Deloitte

“Corporate risk appetite is being suppressed both by Brexit and macro-economic uncertainty, but there are some positives: unemployment has fallen and earnings are rising at the fastest rate in more than a decade. While it’s unclear whether these trends will be sustainable, I do take confidence from the fact that businesses in the UK have long shown themselves to be adaptable and resilient to change. We now need clarity on what that change looks like.”

Richard Houston, senior partner and chief executive of Deloitte North and South Europe

Previous editions

The Deloitte CFO Survey: 2019 Q2
Corporate caution, financial market optimism

The Deloitte CFO Survey: 2019 Q1
The dash for cash

The Deloitte CFO Survey: 2018 Q4
Cost is king

The Deloitte CFO Survey: 2018 Q3
Deal or no deal – that is the question

The Deloitte CFO Survey: 2018 Q2
Defensive and watchful

The Deloitte CFO Survey: 2018 Q1
Brexit transition boosts business confidence

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

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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