What's Making CFOs So Cheerful?

North American finance heads are optimistic about domestic markets—but not so much about Europe

Written by Jim McElgunn

Chief financial officers are a prudent bunch who always keep an eye on the risks to the businesses they work for. So it’s striking to see their optimism about prospects over the next year for the North American economy.

Deloitte’s survey of CFOs at big North American companies—most with revenue of at least US$1 billion—shows that in Q2 2013 a strong majority of 65% said they expect the North American economy will be better a year from now. This compares with 53% who expect China’s economy will be better—and a lowly 14% for Europe.

Read: 7 Signs You Need a CFO

The CFOs surveyed are also optimistic about the prospects for their own companies over the next year. For Canadian companies, the net optimism score—the percentage of respondents who are more optimistic minus those who are less optimistic—was +39% in Q2 2013, up sharply from +7% in Q1 2013.

Other results for Canadian companies included:

  • The average expected change in capital investment over the next year is an increase of 5.5%, whereas in Q1 2013 the average was a decrease of 9.4%.
  • The average expected change in the number of employees over the next year is an increase of 5.4%, up from 3.5% in the Q1 2013 survey.

Read: What Today’s Employees Want

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