A survey of more than 100 CFOs at major firms by Deloitte has found that business confidence has fallen to an all-time low due to COVID-19. The poll found nine in ten finance chiefs believe their business faces a high or very high level of uncertainty, while just 16% of respondents were more optimistic about their company’s prospects than three months prior. On average, CFOs expected revenues to be 22% lower than they had estimated before the pandemic, while 98% expect capital spending to be reduced this year.
On the broader economic outlook, 53% expect the current downturn to last until the end of 2020. Over three quarters said cost-cutting would be a major priority going forward, with 59% having furloughed staff and 52% having reduced output. Deloitte chief economist Ian Stewart said CFOs “CFOs expect the lockdown to ease in May and June and demand in their own sectors to start re covering later this year. But there is no expectation of a quick snap back in activity, with most CFOs assuming revenues will not return to pre-crisis levels for at least a year.”
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