Deloitte “CFO Signals” Report 1Q 2013 – Notable Aspects

Recently Deloitte released their “CFO Signals” “High-Level Summary” report for the 1st Quarter of 2013.

As seen in page 2 of the report, “One hundred and six CFOs responded this quarter. More than 70% of the CFOs are from public companies, and 85% are from companies with more than $1B in annual revenue.”

Here are some of the excerpts that I found notable:

from page 3 :

What are companies’ business focus areas for the next year? Most companies are focused more on pursuing opportunity than on limiting risk, and much more on growing and scaling than on contracting and rationalizing.

from page 4:

In step with optimism, sales and earnings growth expectations have improved, but are still not strong by historical standards. Sales expectations are essentially unchanged at 5.4%*, above the survey-low 4.8%* in 3Q12, but also well below the 7% long-term average. Similarly, expected earnings growth rose from 10.9%* to 12.1%*, but this is still comparatively low.

from page 16:

Domestic hiring is expected to rise 0.9% overall, consistent with last quarter’s 1.0% and above the 3Q12 survey low of 0.6%; the median is again 0%, with 43% of CFOs expecting year-over-year gains, and 27% expecting cuts (essentially even with the survey high from last quarter).

from page 17:

About 50% of CFOs expressed rising optimism, and just under 20% expressed rising pessimism — a major turn of events from last quarter.


Optimism in the U.S. rebounded strongly — with net optimism rising from -16 two quarters ago and -21 last quarter to +33 this quarter.

from page 18:

Economic concerns have largely transitioned from worries about crises/collapse to worries about persistent stagnation.


I post various business and economic surveys because I believe they should be carefully monitored.  However, as those familiar with this blog are aware, I do not necessarily agree with many of the consensus estimates and much of the commentary in these surveys.


The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation

SPX at 1562.85 as this post is written