Europe, China Worries Spook CFOs

By Business LeadersFOXBusiness

Chief financial officers are growing more concerned with major economic zones like Europe and China, according to a new survey from Deloitte.

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In the consulting and accounting giant’s CFO Signals report for the second quarter, finance chiefs continued to show optimism that conditions are stabilizing. Nearly 45% of respondents said they are increasingly optimistic in their own companies’ prospects.

But CFOs also expressed worries over the global economy. Assessments of North America declined slightly compared to the first quarter, with U.S. CFOs reporting lower growth expectations. In the wake of mostly disappointing economic data, perceptions of the European and Chinese economies fell substantially, and China reached a new low for the survey.

The latest period marked weakening sentiment among CFOs in the manufacturing sector, where pessimists now outnumber optimists.

Deloitte polled 113 CFOs in May for the second-quarter report. The firm said 71% of respondents are from public companies, and 81% are from companies with more than $1B in annual revenue.

Deloitte added that CFOs voiced less concern about monetary and fiscal policy, although government regulation is returning to the forefront.

The scope of regulatory worries in the second-quarter survey “is the broadest we have seen,” Deloitte said. Industry-specific regulation is considered the top impediment to business, cited by 38% of CFOs.

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