Central Europe CFO Survey
Welcome to the third edition of the Deloitte CFO survey for Hungary, which once again records CFO sentiment across a range of economic and business issues and sets it within the context of the respondents’ peer group from Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia.
It is widely accepted that Hungary is facing difficult times, with an economy substantially smaller than it was in 2008, low investment levels and comparatively high inflation. However, there are indications within the findings of this survey that suggest some of the country’s CFOs are beginning to sense some easing of the situation.
A higher proportion of respondents than last time anticipate a reduction in unemployment levels and express greater willingness to assume a higher level of risk on the balance sheet, for example, while a smaller proportion of respondents are predicting a further deterioration in the ability to raise funds.
These are, however, rare moments of optimism in the midst of overwhelming expectations of recession or, at best, continued economic stagnation. The findings leave little room for doubt that this is a challenging time for Hungarian business, a view that’s matched by the widespread belief that a return to any sort of substantial growth in GDP, investment and consumption is still some years away.
Nonetheless, the first indicators of returning optimism are there, and I hope that, in that context, you find this report an interesting and useful source of information.
Key trends and findings:
- Some Hungarian CFOs are becoming less defensive, as one in six considers taking on more risk
- Reduced anticipation of costlier borrowing provides a rare glimmer of positivism among the country’s finance chiefs
- With cost-cutting and rationalisation now complete, top performing companies are seeking external funding
- Business sentiment for the economic outlook continues to decline as only 2% predict growth
- Stimulating revenue growth from existing markets is the key target for 2013