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Fears around Brexit causing UK CFOs uncertainty

Thursday 31st March, 2016

According to the new  Global Business Outlook Survey, two thirds of UK CFOs are less optimistic about the country’s economy now compared with the end of last year.

70% of Financial Executives cited economic uncertainty is now their major concern, followed by currency risk (47%) and political uncertainty (35%), indicating that the prospect of a Brexit may be damaging confidence in the UK economy.

The research was recently conducted by the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University, Grenoble Ecole de Management, CFO Magazine and Tilburg University. It is one of the world’s longest-running and most comprehensive research on senior finance executives.

UK CFOs think there is a probability of 25.7% that the country's economy will be in recession at the end of 2016. This is a more positive outlook than many other countries, including half of Brazilian, South African and Greek financial executives, who believe their economies will enter or remain in recession by year-end.

"This quarter’s findings reveal that UK Financial Executives are less optimistic and more uncertain about the country’s economy than they were at the end of last year. This appears to reflect the ongoing debate around a potential Brexit. Some of the leading concerns include political uncertainty, currency risk and slow-down in Europe, indicating that this issue is keeping CFOs awake at night," said Philippe Dupuy, Finance Professor at Grenoble Ecole de Management.

At the same time UK CFOs remain more optimistic about the prospect of the economy staying afloat than their counterparts across the globe – in particular half of Brazilian, South African and Greek CFOs believe their economies will enter or remain in recession by year-end.

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