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CFO Quarterly Outlook Report: August 2011


Amid lingering concerns over the inflation rate, Chief Financial Officers’ overall confidence in the global economy declined at the start of the second half of the year, according to the most recent survey of CFOs conducted by Financial Executives International (FEI) and Baruch College’s Zicklin School of Business.  U.S. CFOs continue to demonstrate slightly higher optimism than their European counterparts, and have a much stronger outlook for hiring, despite their expectation that unemployment rates will remain high. While U.S. executives remain stable in their business outlook and expect large gains in net earnings, looming fears of the impact of an increase of the debt ceiling and the possibility of a double-dip recession are prompting them to extend their forecasts for the start of a U.S. economic recovery by more than a year to the second half of 2012 or beyond. 

This quarter, the CFO Outlook Survey, conducted by FEI and Baruch College’s Zicklin School of Business, surveyed 228 corporate CFOs from the United States, 78 corporate CFOs from Italy and 44 corporate CFOs from France electronically from July 8-24. CFOs from both public and private companies and from a broad range of industries, revenues and geographic areas, including some off-shore companies, are represented. The U.S. survey respondents are members of Financial Executives International; France survey respondents are members of Association Nationale Des Directeurs Financiers Et Du Controle De Gestion (DFCG) and Italy survey respondents are members of Associazione Nazionale Direttori Amministrativi E Finanziari (ANDAF).

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