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Optimism bounces

Deloitte CFO Survey: 2017 Q3

October 2017

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

  • Uncertainty eases and optimism shifts back to levels seen last year
  • Risk appetite remains below long-term average and CFOs remain on defensive footing
  • Brexit tops CFOs’ list of risks, although concerns over long term impact ease

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 Anthea Neagle ( to receive a copy of our spreadsheet containing our CFO Survey data. 

Business optimism over past 10 years: Net % of CFOs who are more optimistic about the financial prospects of their company than three months ago

Uncertainty over past 10 years: % CFO who rate the level of external financial and economic uncertainty facing their business as high or very high.

“Optimism among CFOs has rebounded after a slump following the snap general election and perceptions of uncertainty are almost half the level seen immediately after the referendum.

“It is testament to the changeable business environment that, this far into the UK recovery, CFOs remain on a cautious footing with inflation squeezing corporate margins and measures like cost control still topping their list of priorities.”

Ian Stewart, chief economist at Deloitte

“Concerns over Brexit look to have eased in this latest survey with just under two-thirds of CFOs expecting an adverse effect on the business environment, down from nearly three-quarters in Q2.

“However, Brexit remains the top risk facing business. Almost a third of CFOs expect it to reduce their investment plans over the next three years and a further third expect it to hit hiring. However, on both measures the level of concern has eased.”

David Sproul, senior partner and chief executive at Deloitte

Previous editions

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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