A recent survey of Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) in India, conducted by Dun & Bradstreet India, a leading global provider of business decisioning data and analytics, found that CFOs confidence in financial and macro-economic conditions has declined over the previous quarter. The pan-India survey compared the confidence levels of CFOs for Q2 2022 with the previous quarter.
The Dun & Bradstreet India Composite CFO Optimism Index analyses the optimism level of CFOs on 12 parameters: operating margin, liquidity position, level of financial risk on company’s balance sheet, risk appetite, need for raising short-term and long-term funds, cost of raising funds, availability of funds, domestic and global macroeconomic scenario, overall scenario for mergers and acquisitions, and level of financial risks for corporate sector as a whole.
Key findings from the survey were:
- Dun & Bradstreet Composite CFO Optimism Index stood at 91.9, a decrease of around 12.0% (q-o-q) in Q2 2022
- Optimism levels of CFOs in both the industrial and services sectors fell from the previous quarter; the decline was much steeper amongst the CFOs in the industrial sector
- Two of the eight parameters under the financial performance sub-index improved in Q2 2022 on a q-o-q basis, while the remaining six declined
- Only 10% of CFOs expect the level of financial risks for the corporate sector as a whole to decrease – the lowest since Q3 2018
- Percentage of CFO’s expecting an increase in risk appetite in the current scenario is the lowest since Q2 2021, at 28 percent.
- Percentage of CFOs expecting an increase in the liquidity position of their companies is the lowest in three quarters, at 46%
- Percentage of CFOs who expect the cost of raising funds from the market to decrease is the lowest since Q1 2020
- 36 percent of CFOs expect the global macro-economic scenario to be favourable during Q2 2022, the lowest since Q1 2021
- 41 percent CFOs expect mergers & acquisitions to be favourable during Q2 2022, the lowest since Q1 2021
Commenting on the findings of the survey, Arun Singh, Global Chief Economist, Dun & Bradstreet, said: “Optimism levels amongst CFOs remain clouded because of heightened concerns over economic recovery, geo-political risks, rising input cost pressures and the faster than expected rise in borrowing costs. The percentage of CFOs who are optimistic has fallen for all the parameters within ‘financial performance’ and ‘macro-economic scenario’ from the previous quarter, except for need for long term funds and operating margin.”
“The spillover effects of aggravated geopolitical risks, protracted supply chain disruptions and protectionist policies have intensified the financial risks for firms, as seen in the survey. Only 10% of CFOs expect the level of financial risks for the overall corporate sector to decrease, the lowest percentage since Q3 2018. We expect the uncertainty over the global economic revival and spillover effects of monetary policy tightening to weigh on business sentiment in the next quarter”, added Singh.