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Data & Results

July 14, 2021

CFOs and other financial decision-makers continue to be optimistic about U.S. economic prospects for 2021. However, when asked about their key concerns, labor availability and cost pressures rose to the top.

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Key Results Summary

CFO OptimismQ2 2021Q1 2021
Optimism about own company (0 to 100)74.973.2
Optimism about the U.S. economy (0 to 100)69.067.7
Note: Mean optimism values are unweighted.
CFOs’ Growth Expectations for Their Own Firms, by Response QuarterQ2 2021Q1 2021
Mean (and Median) Expected Year-Over-Year Percentage Change for Calendar Years2021202220212022
Revenue9.6%
(6.5%)
9.3%
(6.0%)
8.0%
(5.0%)
9.0%
(5.0%)
Price7.9%
(3.8%)
5.9%
(3.0%)
5.0%
(3.0%)
4.4%
(3.0%)
Employment (full-time)6.3%
(3.0%)
5.9%
(2.7%)
5.5%
(3.2%)
3.9%
(2.5%)
Wage Bill9.6%
(4.0%)
8.5%
(4.0%)
4.6%
(3.0%)
5.1%
(3.5%)
Non-wage Compensation6.9%
(5.0%)
7.1%
(5.0%)
5.3%
(4.0%)
5.8%
(5.0%)
Unit Cost7.1%
(4.0%)
5.7%
(4.0%)
--
Note: Revenue, Price, and Unit Cost are weighted by sales revenue. Employment, Wage Bill, and Non-wage Compensation are weighted by employment. These data are also winsorized at 2.5% and 97.5% to remove the potential influence of extreme values. Firms were not asked about Unit Cost in the Q1 2021 survey.
CFOs’ Expectations for Real GDP Growth Over Next Four Quarters, by Response Quarter
Q2 2021Q1 2021
Weighted Mean4.9%
4.2%
Weighted Median5.0%
3.8%
Probability of Negative Growth
3.0%
3.3%
Note: Responses are weighted by sales revenue.

Please refer to the full results for Q2 2021 and The CFO Survey Methodology for more information.
 

April 2020 and Prior

Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and CFO magazine previously conducted the Global Business Outlook by surveying CFOs of companies and subscribers of CFO magazine around the world each quarter. An archive of past surveys is available at cfosurvey.fuqua.duke.edu.

 

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