Survey | CFO Perspectives on the World Economy

The world faces a historically significant confluence of crises. The COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact businesses; the Russia-Ukraine conflict poses supply chain challenges and fuels an energy crisis in Europe; and rising inflation, coupled with the threat of a long-term global recession, threatens to significantly slow economic growth.

demographics

To better understand how executives view the impact of these factors on the global economy, GLG conducted a survey of 70 CFOs in the US, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK. Respondents included companies with annual sales greater than $11 million across a variety of industries.

Effects of COVID-19

Most of the CFOs we surveyed (54%) said their company’s revenue has decreased due to COVID-19. Of these, about a third (32%) said revenue had already recovered. More than 4 in 10 did not expect to recover until 2023 or later, if at all. For those who saw a positive impact on sales, this was mostly short-lived, with 65% saying their sales had already returned to normal.

Russia/Ukraine

While GLG research showed that the majority of CFOs we surveyed expect “moderate” or “major” supply chain impact in their industry, they were divided on the energy crisis sparked by the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

Less than half (44%) of our respondents predict Europe will be forced to strike some sort of deal with Russia to reclaim Russian energy, while 54% believe Europe will make the transition to non-Russian energy.

recession/inflation

While few of the CFOs we interviewed thought we were at the end of our current inflationary spurt, most recognized that it was still ongoing. However, the opinions of our CFOs differed from country to country on how the current phase of inflation would develop. US CFOs were the least optimistic, with nearly half (45%) saying they believe the current era marks the end of low and stable inflation. Their European counterparts were more optimistic, with most saying they believed this would only be a temporary phase before a return to normal would materialize.

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Optimism aside, fears of a recession are still high in the eyes of our CFOs. Most agreed that no matter how this inflationary streak ends, a painful recession is likely in our future.

Conclusion

All is not rosy for the CFOs we interviewed. Most of them indicated that a return to pre-2020 pre-2020 strengths is likely to be a long way off. GLG’s full research report also includes insights into CFO perspectives on supply chain, working from home and whether our current economic situation is short-lived or something we need to adapt to in order to thrive. The future is unwritten, but most of the CFOs we surveyed are preparing for tough times.


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About GLG Network Surveys

GLG’s Network Surveys manage research on market-moving issues and trends, and interview relevant subject matter experts. Each survey focuses on a specific industry and respondents have in-depth knowledge of the latest developments in that industry. To ensure the focus of the survey is relevant to the panelists, our network survey team works with a GLG expert with in-depth industry knowledge to write the questionnaire. GLG currently conducts approximately 12 network surveys each month.

Standard results of our network surveys include:

  • 1 x individual responses (“raw data”) in Excel.
  • 1 x PPT report with aggregated data.
  • For selected topics: executive summary with key takeaways and conclusion.
  • For selected topics: Detailed PowerPoint report of survey results presented by network member via webcast (optional).

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