Data & Results – Q4 2023

Dec. 20, 2023

The 2024 Economic Outlook: A View from CFOs

Financial decision-makers were slightly more optimistic about the U.S. economy in the fourth quarter, and many firms expect their price growth next year to remain above pre-COVID levels.

News Release

Revisions to The CFO Survey Data

CFO Survey data from Q2 2020 to Q4 2023 have been revised in accordance with an annual revision process. Revised historical data are available for download. Comparisons of revised and previously published estimates are also available.

Historical special question results are unrevised and available on archived quarterly results pages.

For more information on the annual data revision process, please refer to The CFO Survey Methodology.

  • Special Questions on Firm Activity Relative to Norms

    To better understand how firm activity compares to pre-pandemic norms, the CFO survey asked firms to compare their 2024 expected growth in revenue, prices, and employment to growth rates prior to the Covid-19 pandemic. The fourth quarter survey also asked firms about their most recent percent annual increase in total compensation and how it compares to normal.

    Almost 60 percent of firms expect their price growth in 2024 to remain elevated relative to pre-COVID norms. Expectations for compensation growth also remain above what firms consider normal.

    For additional discussion of these results, visit our Research & Commentary section.

    On average, what percent annual increase in total compensation did (or will) your firm provide employees for the most recent compensation round? What would be considered normal, or in line with your firm’s recent averages?Q4 2023 Q4 2022
    Mean (and Median) Percent Increase(N=423)(N=245)
    Note: Data reflect responses from firms that indicated they normally provide annual increases in compensation to employees. Results from the Q4 2022 survey (November 14 – December 2, 2022) are show for comparison. Responses are unweighted and winsorized 95% to remove the potential influence of extreme values.Source: Duke University, FRB Richmond and FRB Atlanta, The CFO Survey – Q4 2023 (November 14 – December 1, 2023)
  • Special Questions on Firm Debt, Maturity, and Roll-Over

    The fourth quarter CFO Survey asked firms for their debt maturity profile, the proportion of maturing debt they plan to roll over, and their expected borrowing costs, to better understand the potential impact of increased interest rates.  

    Seventy percent of respondent firms—and almost 90 percent of large firms—have existing debt, much of which is expected to come due in the next few years. Firms that intend to roll over their debt are facing higher interest costs, which suggests that there could be some headwinds to economic growth in 2024.

    For additional discussion of these results, visit our Research & Commentarysection.

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