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Deloitte survey opens “optimistic” 2011

5 Jan 11

CFOs shift focus back to expansion, as confidence in international markets slowly returns

The UK’s chief financial officers have entered 2011 in a more buoyant mood, according to the latest Deloitte CFO survey. CFO confidence rebounded in the fourth quarter of 2010, as fears of a double dip have abated.

Accordingly, the survey saw a general move from defensive to expansionary strategies, including an increased willingness to hire and spend. Corporate appetite for risk has risen even more rapidly, reaching the highest level since the third quarter of 2007.

Ian Steele, senior partner for Deloitte in Scotland and Northern Ireland, commented: “If 2010 was the year of balance sheet rebuilding and cost cutting, then 2011 looks set to be the year in which corporates start spending again. A new emphasis on expansion by the UK’s large companies lends support to the idea that the recovery is likely to broaden out during 2011 aided by growth in private sector hiring and capital spending.”

Part of this optimism seems to reflect renewed confidence in international demand. Only 39 per cent of CFOs expect the UK to make the biggest contribution to the growth in their company’s revenues in 2011. Indeed, 34 per cent of CFOs see emerging markets as making the biggest contribution to revenue growth.

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