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Data & Results

Dec. 22, 2020

Corporate financial decision-makers are generally optimistic about U.S. economic prospects, but note downside risks for 2021, as well as a trend towards workforce automation.

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Key Results Summary

CFO OptimismQ4 2020Q3 2020
Optimism about own company (0 to 100)71.070.4
Optimism about the U.S. economy (0 to 100)61.661.0
Note: Mean optimism values are unweighted.
CFOs’ Growth Expectations for Their Own FirmsQ4 2020Q3 2020
Mean Expected Year-Over-Year Percentage Change for Calendar Years2020202120202021
Revenue0.3%6.9%-0.2%8.7%
Prices1.9%4.0%
1.7%
4.3%
Employment (full-time)0.7%
4.1%
-2.4%
2.2%
Wage Bill1.3%
4.0%
1.9%
5.4%
Non-wage Compensation3.2%
5.8%
3.8%
6.0%
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
Q4 2020Q3 2020
Weighted Mean2.8%2.2%
Weighted Median2.5%1.5%
Probability of Negative Growth
15.2%22.9%
Note: Responses are weighted by sales revenue.

Please refer to the full results for Q4 2020 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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