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Data & Results

Oct. 14, 2021

Three-fourths of U.S. CFOs express difficulty hiring, leading them to increase wages. Most CFOs also indicate in the third-quarter survey that their firms are experiencing supply chain disruptions that are expected to last well into 2022.

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Key Results Summary

CFO OptimismQ3 2021Q2 2021
Optimism about own company (0 to 100)70.274.9
Optimism about the U.S. economy (0 to 100)59.969.0
Note: Mean optimism values are unweighted.
CFOs’ Growth Expectations for Their Own Firms, by Response QuarterQ3 2021Q2 2021
Mean (and Median) Expected Year-Over-Year Percentage Change for Calendar Years2021202220212022
Revenue10.9%
(9.0%)
8.7%
(7.0%)
9.6%
(6.5%)
9.3%
(6.0%)
Price7.1%
(5.0%)
5.4%
(3.0%)
7.9%
(3.8%)
5.9%
(3.0%)
Employment (full-time)5.6%
(1.5%)
4.8%
(2.8%)
6.2%
(3.0%)
5.9%
(2.7%)
Wage Bill6.9%
(5.0%)
6.9%
(4.0%)
9.6%
(4.0%)
8.5%
(4.0%)
Non-wage Compensation6.9%
(5.0%)
7.9%
(5.0%)
6.9%
(5.0%)
7.1%
(5.0%)
Unit Cost6.7%
(5.0%)
5.5%
(4.0%)
7.1%
(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.
CFOs’ Expectations for Real GDP Growth Over Next Four Quarters, by Response Quarter
Q3 2021Q2 2021
Weighted Mean3.2%4.9%
Weighted Median3.2%5.0%
Probability of Negative Growth
8.2%3.0%
Note: Responses are weighted by sales revenue.

Please refer to the full results for Q3 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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