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Q4 2018 Global CFO Signals: Uncertainty returns with a vengeance

Published on: Dec 31, 2018

As they closed out 2018, CFOs around the world were greeted by two old “friends”: uncertainty and ambiguity. And that double whammy resulted in mixed—and increasingly downward—trends in the Q4 2018 edition of Global CFO Signals.

Just consider some of the overhangs many of the CFOs in the seven surveys included in this round-up (representing the views of finance chiefs in 25 countries) faced as they headed into the new year:

  • For UK CFOs, the uncertainty caused by the nonresolution of Brexit drove a marked shift toward defensive balance sheet strategies;
  • In North America, lack of clarity over US trade policy and what a split Congress means for the long term, sent CFO net optimism falling from +36 to just +3;
  • Meanwhile, in Australia, the same US-China trade tensions along with a weaker global and domestic outlook led 42 percent of CFO respondents to factor a global economic slowdown into their strategic planning.

How all these factors may impact global growth remains to be seen. In the meantime, here is a synopsis of CFO sentiment by region in Q4 2018.

This publication was released by our US firm.

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