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European CFO Survey Spring 2018

Undeterred by uncertainty

Welcome to the seventh edition of the Deloitte European CFO Survey presenting the opinions of 1,652 CFOs across 20 European countries. The survey is the ideal barometer of the European corporate sector, providing an overview of CFOs’ hiring and investment intentions, views on critical business risks, current strategic priorities and what factors they consider critical for success. Download the report and get in touch with your local CFO programme contact at the bottom of the page to discuss the findings further.

Key findings

Sentiment has cooled, but CFOs are still confident and ready to invest

  • The message from CFOs in this edition continues to be a positive one. CFOs remain fairly confident about the future, although the mood has turned from overly optimistic to normal
  • Expectations for improvements in revenues and margins are positive, although companies in an increasing number of countries – particularly in the euro area – are starting to feel the pinch on margins
  • CFOs are ready to invest in both physical and human capital: both capital expenditure (CAPEX) and hiring intentions are higher than in the previous survey

It is the labour market that keeps CFOs awake at night

  • In more than half the twenty countries surveyed, CFOs identified a shortage of skilled labour as a significant risk to their business - more than concerns about the economic outlook, a reduction in demand or geopolitical risks
  • With a tightening labour market, companies will need to prepare for fierce competition to attract talent – especially as many of them plan to increase employee numbers over the next 12 months

The various risks to the global economy are currently not viewed by CFOs as particularly critical for their business

  • CFOs consider a major cyber-attack to be a likely event, but a majority would expect it to have only a low to moderate impact on their business
  • Risk events that CFOs consider most likely to materialise are those they would expect to have a low impact on their business – although views vary across industries 
European CFO Survey Spring 2018

About the European CFO Survey

The European CFO Survey is part of a global cohort of surveys benchmarking the current and future intentions and opinions of European Chief Financial Officers. The findings discussed in this report are representative of the opinions of almost 1,652 CFOs based in 20 European countries: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the United Kingdom. CFOs were all contacted between February and April 2018.

Previous editions

European CFO Survey - Autumn 2017
CFOs switch focus to the longer term

European CFO Survey - Spring 2017
Recovery continues

European CFO Survey - Autumn 2016
Growth prospects in an uncertain world

European CFO Survey - Spring 2016
Politics takes centre stage

European CFO Survey - Autumn 2015
Confidence heads South

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