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Poll Shows Majority of UK CFOs Believe Economy This Year is Growing


Poll Shows Majority of UK CFOs Believe Economy This Year is Growing

We have learned from new research that most chief financial officers (CFOs) in the UK are confident and optimistic about the growth of the economy this year. Institutional Investor and American Express are behind the Global Business and Spending Outlook report which details the findings made after interviewing over a hundred senior financial executives from the United Kingdom, the United States and France.

The most optimistic group of CFOs were from the UK, with 38 per cent expecting growth, followed by 10 per cent of French CFOs and 1 per cent of the executives from the U.S. The poll results indicate an increase in the confidence seen in Europe. There was some optimism in 2017 as well, but the rates are higher this year. Overall, 91 per cent expect to see domestic economic expansion in 2018, compared to 85 per cent across the world and 79 per cent across Europe.

Their confidence is not strictly on paper alone as we can see CFOs walking the talk. In the UK, there’s an average planned rise in investment and spending of 8.6 percent in their firms for the next year to come. From the study, we also get a bit of insight into attitudes towards artificial intelligence (AI). Apparently, 74 per cent of financial executives had already put money in AI.

Even with higher levels of confidence, CFOs are still watchful as they should be. This is indicated by the 83 per cent who express concern about political or economic events affecting their businesses negatively. We also learn that there is less worry over uncertainty within the UK than from outside the country – perhaps the US’s trade war with China.

It’s possible that this is due to greater confidence in the UK system, since businesses can rely on good insurance and other protective instruments. Even with those concerns, 53 percent of respondents admit that they’re not likely to leave areas with economic or political risk. Concerning spending in marketing and sales activities, 37 percent of UK financial execs intend to invest more than they did in 2017.

Over the next two years, 88 per cent plan to invest more money, attention and time on ensuring the data of their employees, suppliers and customers are protected. It should not be surprising that data protection has become the foremost priority for IT spending taking into consideration the GDPR and its implications.

UK CFOs are not the only ones being particularly optimistic as another survey by Deloitte shows that CFOs of major brands in the U.S. are optimistic, with 58% saying there could be no better time to take risks than 2018’s second quarter. In this case, however, the figures are lower than that of the previous quarter which was a significant 69 per cent. A whooping majority of 94 per cent believe the current conditions in North America are good. Ironically, this group was not as optimistic about the European condition.

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