The CFO Survey First Quarter 2023 – Notable Excerpts

On March 29, 2023 The CFO Survey (formerly called the “Duke/CFO Global Business Outlook”) was released.  It contains a variety of statistics regarding how CFOs view business and economic conditions.

In the CFO Survey press release, I found the following to be the most notable excerpts – although I don’t necessarily agree with them:

Financial decision-makers became slightly more optimistic about the U.S. economy and increased their expectations for real GDP growth in 2023, while citing labor availability and inflation as the most pressing concerns for their company, according to the results of The CFO Survey, a collaboration of Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and the Federal Reserve Banks of Richmond and Atlanta.

The survey, which closed on March 10, found that CFO optimism about the U.S. economy was 55 on a scale of 0 to 100, modestly higher than last quarter but well below the historic average of about 60. Additionally, CFOs revised upward their expectations for real GDP growth over the next four quarters to 1.4 percent from 0.7 percent in the prior survey. Moreover, the probability respondents assigned to negative year-ahead economic growth fell from 31 percent last quarter to 19 percent this quarter.

The CFO Survey contains an Optimism Index chart, with the blue line showing U.S. Optimism (with regard to the economy) at 55.0, as seen below:

CFO Survey - Optimism Indexes

It should be interesting to see how well the CFOs predict business and economic conditions going forward.   I discussed past various aspects of this, and the importance of these predictions, in the July 9, 2010 post titled “The Business Environment”.

(past posts on CEO and CFO surveys can be found under the “CFO and CEO Confidence” tag)


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


The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation

SPX at 4009.16 as this post is written