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Data & Results

April 7, 2021

CFOs and other financial decision-makers are increasingly optimistic about strong U.S. economic prospects for 2021.

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Key Results Summary

CFO OptimismQ1 2021Q4 2020
Optimism about own company (0 to 100)73.271.0
Optimism about the U.S. economy (0 to 100)67.761.6
Note: Mean optimism values are unweighted.
CFOs’ Growth Expectations for Their Own Firms, by Response QuarterQ1 2021Q4 2020
Mean Expected Year-Over-Year Percentage Change for Calendar Years2021202220202021
Revenue8.0%
9.0%
0.3%
6.9%
Prices5.0%
4.4%
1.9%
4.0%
Employment (full-time)5.5%
3.9%
0.7%
4.1%
Wage Bill4.6%
5.1%
1.3%
4.0%
Non-wage Compensation5.3%
5.8%
3.2%
5.8%
Note: Revenue and Prices 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.
CFOs’ Expectations for Real GDP Growth Over Next Four Quarters, by Response Quarter
Q1 2021Q4 2020
Weighted Mean4.2%
2.8%
Weighted Median3.8%
2.5%
Probability of Negative Growth
3.3%
15.2%
Note: Responses are weighted by sales revenue.

Please refer to the full results for Q1 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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