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Business Outlook Findings
4th Quarter 20131

CFO SignalsTM
What North America’s top finance executives
are thinking – and ...
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CFO Signals: What North America’s top finance executives are thinking - and doing.

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CFO Signals™ is about CFO issues. This quarterly survey tracks the thinking and actions of leading CFOs – representing North America’s largest and most influential companies. Our goal is to explore top-tier CFO issues, in four predominant areas: business environment, company priorities and expectations, finance priorities, and personal priorities.

Download the full report and infographic for the CFO Signals ™ 2013 Q4 results to learn more.


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CFO Signals: What North America’s top finance executives are thinking - and doing.

  1. 1. Business Outlook Findings 4th Quarter 20131 CFO SignalsTM What North America’s top finance executives are thinking – and doing Optimism among Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) regarding their organizations’ prospects remains strong for an unprecedented entire calendar year. But this optimism is driven by confidence in their own organization’s operations, not by confidence in the broader business and economic climate. Company growth projections2 Despite overall optimism, most key company metrics suggest CFOs expect substantial challenges in 2014. Sales growth expectations reached a historic survey low, while earnings growth projections remain far below the survey’s average. Sales growth Domestic hiring Earnings growth 5.6 % 5.0 % 4.1 % 4Q12 3Q13 4Q13 10.9 % 4Q12 8.0 % 8.6 % 3Q13 4Q13 Capital spending 1.0 % 1.3 % 3Q13 4Q13 4.9 % 6.4 % 4Q12 1.4 % 4Q12 4.2 % 3Q13 4Q13 Economy optimism3 CFOs have expressed rising confidence in the North American economy in recent quarters, but the trend has now reversed. There are signs of rising optimism regarding Europe and China, however. 60% 23% 49% vs. 67% in Q3 North America vs. 14% in Q3 Europe vs. 37% in Q3 China Own-Company optimism4 Fifty-four percent of CFOs express rising optimism, and 21% express declining optimism. 29% 40% 4Q12 1 2 3 4 51% 19% 1Q13 59% 13% 2Q13 42% 24% 54% 3Q13 21% 4Q13 These are a subset of the full CFO Signals Q4 findings. The full report is available at www.deloitte.com Quarterly numbers represent CFOs’ expected change year-over-year. Averages have been adjusted to eliminate the effects of stark outliers Economy optimism is calculated as the percent of CFOs who believe each economy will either (1) better in a year’s time, or (2) is already good and will not get worse Figures represent percent of CFOs saying their optimism regarding their organization’s prospects is higher/lower than the previous quarter The Deloitte CFO Signals survey was conducted for the fourth quarter of 2013 between November 11, 2013 and November 22, 2013. Seventy-nine percent of the 96 CFO respondents were from organizations with more than $1 billion in annual revenues, and 68 percent were from publicly-traded organizations. This publication contains general information only and is based on the experiences and research of Deloitte practitioners. Deloitte is not, by means of this publication, rendering accounting, business, financial, investment, legal, tax, or other professional advice or services. This publication is not a substitute for such professional advice or services, nor should it be used as a basis for any decision or action that may affect your business. Before making any decision or taking any action that may affect your business, you should consult a qualified professional advisor. Deloitte, its affiliates, and related entities shall not be responsible for any loss sustained by any person who relies on this publication. As used in this document, “Deloitte” means Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries. Please see www.deloitte.com/us/about for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries. Certain services may not be available to attest clients under the rules and regulations of public accounting. Copyright © 2014 Deloitte Development LLC. All rights reserved. Member of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited