CFO survey banner

Deloitte Insights

Braced for recession

Deloitte CFO Survey: 2022 Q2

July 2022

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

  • CFOs of the UK’s largest companies are braced for a recession. On average, CFOs see a 63% chance of the UK going into recession within the next 12 months.
  • Increases in the Bank of England’s base rate since the start of the year are having a pronounced effect. Finance leaders report a sharp rise in financing costs, with credit seen as more costly than at any time in the last ten years. CFOs expect interest rates to double to 2.5% by June 2023.
  • CFOs expect high inflation to persist, despite easing price pressures next year. The majority (86%) anticipating inflation to exceed 2.5% in two-years’ time.
  • CFOs are responding to higher input costs by passing on price rises, improving cash flow management and through a reduction in margins.
  • CFOs are taking a more defensive balance sheet stance with cost reduction their top priority. Despite headwinds, investment intentions are still at above average levels. Moreover, CFOs are positive on prospects for raising productivity plus increasing investment in skills and digital technology and assets over the next three years.

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.

“The Chief Financial Officers of the UK’s largest companies are braced for a recession. Finance leaders have edged towards more defensive balance sheet strategies, particularly cost control and building up cash."

“Yet CFOs are not in batten down the hatches mode. Risk appetite is only slightly below average levels, and well above the lows seen in the financial crisis, at the time of the EU referendum and during the pandemic.”

Ian Stewart, chief economist at Deloitte

“It’s interesting that CFOs remain optimistic on investment - despite rising inflation and recessionary risks. They remain convinced that growth and resilience will only come through increased spending on digital technology – and the skills to use it.”

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

Previous editions

The Deloitte CFO Survey: 2022 Q1
Growth in a riskier world

The Deloitte CFO Survey: 2021 Q4
Going for Growth

The Deloitte CFO Survey: 2021 Q3
Investment is the focus

The Deloitte CFO Survey: 2021 Q2
Growth is the priority

The Deloitte CFO Survey: 2021 Q1
CFO optimism reaches record levels

The Deloitte CFO Survey: 2020 Q4
2021: Lasting change and growth

The Deloitte CFO Survey: 2020 Q3
The long COVID recovery

The Deloitte CFO Survey: 2020 Q2
No quick bounce back

The Deloitte CFO Survey: 2020 Q1
Crash, slow recovery, lasting change

The Deloitte CFO Survey: 2019 Q4
Business confidence soars

The Deloitte CFO Survey: 2019 Q3
Persistent uncertainty takes its toll

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

Did you find this useful?