Business confidence bounces back for CFOs


  • Sharpest rise in CFO optimism since 2020;
  • Survey shows biggest decline on record for CFOs’ perceptions of external uncertainty;
  • Brexit and energy risks ease;
  • CFOs see artificial intelligence driving investment and productivity, but are divided on impact on jobs within the workforce.

Sentiment among finance leaders of the UK’s largest firms has improved significantly since the start of the year, according to Deloitte’s UK CFO Survey Q1 2023.

A net 25% of CFOs are more optimistic about the financial prospects of their business than they were three months ago. Having run well below the long-term average reading of -2% throughout the last year, this marks the largest increase in confidence since the COVID-19 vaccine rollout at the end of 2020.

Conducted between 21 March and 3 April 2023, Deloitte’s latest quarterly CFO Survey captures sentiment amongst the UK’s largest businesses. A total of 64 CFOs participated, including the CFOs of 11 FTSE 100 and 24 FTSE 250 companies. The combined market value of the 38 UK-listed companies surveyed is £253bn, or approximately 10% of the UK quoted equity market.

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