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Analysis

CFO Signals™: 2017 Q3

Geopolitical threats and political turmoil dampen sentiment

​CFOs’ perceptions of their own companies’ prospects declined, and year-over-year expectations for earnings and capital investment both declined.

CFOs' assessments of the economy in Q3

CFO sentiment got off to a very strong start in the first quarter of 2017. In the aftermath of the US presidential election, CFOs appeared very optimistic—with that quarter's survey registering the sharpest uptick in sentiment in its seven-year history.

This sentiment largely continued in the second quarter. Despite voicing growing concerns about geopolitical conflict, US political turmoil, and Washington's ability to deliver clarity and change in key policy areas, CFOs' optimism regarding their companies' prospects remained largely intact.

For both quarters, CFOs' confidence appeared significantly underpinned by positive assessments of the global economy, with continuing positive perceptions of North America and increasingly positive assessments of both Europe and China. Much of this sentiment carries over to this quarter, but something does appear to have changed—especially around CFOs' confidence in the North American economy.

While this quarter's assessments of North America's current economic health remain strong (and near their survey highs), CFOs' assessments of the economy's trajectory faltered. Accordingly, CFOs' perceptions of their own companies' prospects declined, and year-over-year expectations for earnings and capital investment both declined.

Download the report to read the details or the executive summary to view the highlights.

2017 Q3 North American CFO Signals™ highlights

Business outlook highlights

About Deloitte LLP's CFO Signals™ survey

CFO Signals™ is about CFO issues. This quarterly survey tracks the thinking and actions of leading CFOs—representing North America’s largest and most influential companies—across four predominant areas: business environment, company priorities and expectations, finance priorities, personal priorities.

Learn more about Deloitte's CFO Signals™ survey.

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