While chief financial officers are less optimistic about the growth prospects of their local economy, most of them are still expecting higher sales and profits in the next 12 months, finds the CFO Innovation Business Outlook Survey for the third quarter.
The study notes that only 36% of the 165 finance executives surveyed are more optimistic about the growth prospects for the economy where they are based, down sharply from 58% in the previous survey. The waning of optimism is evident in China, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore.
Confidence in company performance is also declining, brought about by the economic problems in Europe and the U.S. While a near majority of respondents (49%) still say they are more optimistic or very optimistic about their own company’s growth prospects, the proportion of those who are less optimistic has nearly doubled to 21%, finds the report.
Companies are turning cautious on hiring as well. Forty-five percent of respondents expect higher employee numbers in the next 12 months, lower than the 51% who said the same in the previous survey. But 64% expect wages and salaries to rise, only slightly lower than the 67% who had the same view previously.