Deloitte CFO Signals™ Survey


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itemTitle: “Read more”,
itemText: “Talent constrained, but not cash constrained
CFOs claim substantial talent constraints, but not capital constraints or shareholder pressure to use or return cash. Top uses of cash are investing for growth and productivity gains, with strong industry differences around dividends and buybacks.
The vast majority of CFOs say they are making focused growth investments, not spreading bets across multiple opportunities.

Key Q2 metrics versus company optimism
The net optimism index declined from last quarter’s +16 to just +9 this quarter—the second-lowest reading in three years. Thirty percent of CFOs express rising optimism (down from 32 percent), and 21 percent cite declining optimism (up from 16 percent). In addition, expectations for revenue growth declined from 4.8 percent to 3.8 percent; earnings growth declined from 7.1 percent to 6.1 percent; and capital spending growth rose substantially from 5.9 percent to 7.7 percent.

Home markets are essential
Predictably, CFOs ranked their home markets most important to their company’s revenue growth over the next five years. The U.S. ranked universally high as a target for growth as well, but the importance of Canada and Mexico to U.S. CFOs has declined since Q4 2015. The survey identified that CFOs consider China the most important market outside North America.

Business focus for next year
Half of CFOs chose profitability as the most-cited focus area for growth over the next year. Corporate strategy and business growth were next, with about 40 percent of CFOs selecting these areas. CFOs indicate a bias toward revenue growth over cost reduction (48 percent versus 29 percent); investing cash over returning it (51 percent versus 18 percent); current offerings over new ones (47 percent versus 32 percent); and current geographies over new ones (66 percent versus 13 percent).

Each quarter, CFO Signals tracks the thinking and actions of CFOs representing many of North America’s largest and most influential organizations. This report summarizes CFOs’ opinions in four areas: business environment; company priorities and expectations; finance priorities; and CFOs’ personal priorities.

The Deloitte CFO Signals survey for the second quarter of 2019 was conducted during the two-week period opening May 6, 2019 and ending May 17, 2019. A total of 159 CFOs responded. Seventy-three percent of respondents were from public companies, and 82 percent were from companies with more than $1 billion in annual revenue.

For more information about Deloitte’s CFO Signals, or to inquire about participating in the survey, please contact[1]

About Deloitte
Deloitte provides industry-leading audit, consulting, tax and advisory services to many of the world’s most admired brands, including nearly 90 percent of the Fortune 500 and more than 5,000 private and middle market companies. Our people work across the industry sectors that drive and shape today’s marketplace to make an impact that matters — delivering measurable and lasting results that help reinforce public trust in our capital markets, inspire clients to see challenges as opportunities to transform and thrive, and help lead the way toward a stronger economy and a healthy society. Deloitte is proud to be part of the largest global professional services network serving our clients in the markets that are most important to them.

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