Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) play an important role in the New Zealand business community. Understanding their views on their own business, the current state of the economy and where they see risks and opportunities provides important insights into New Zealand’s economic direction.
We are pleased to present the inaugural Deloitte New Zealand CFO Survey, which we will conduct annually. This report outlines the views and sentiments of New Zealand CFOs, and we hope it will add value to your business as a general economic indicator.
To ensure we received accurate information, that truly reflects the New Zealand business environment, from March to May 2013 we surveyed close to 100 CFOs from a range of locations, industries and business sizes. We have pulled insights from the New Zealand CFO community, as well as comparing these to CFO peers in Australia, which provides an interesting benchmark against our largest trading partner.
The results of our survey clearly show that CFOs are upbeat about the future. While they are still concerned about issues in Europe and the slow-down in China, they are far less worried about the U.S. The on-going low interest rate environment is manifested in more positive attitudes towards risk, credit and funding.
As a result, CFOs are more confident than they have been for some time. This also suggests there has been a fundamental shift in perspective, most notably a growing acceptance that current uncertainty in the business environment is a new status quo.
While there is growing optimism, CFOs aren’t enjoying the sun just yet. Caution still characterises many business strategies. The outlook for M&A remains overcast, with most CFOs focused on more pressing priorities or not actively seeking out opportunities.
The forecast may be somewhat brighter than it has been for some time, but it’s clear that CFOs still think there’s a chance of showers – and are dressing accordingly.