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Deloitte/SEB CFO Survey Finland: Closing the gap

The spring 2014 results of the Deloitte/SEB CFO Survey for Finland signal that the ailing outlook for the Finnish economy is not discouraging chief financial officers from finally building a healthy growth appetite.

The number of CFOs prioritising defensive business strategies such as cost-cutting is declining and more of them are looking to expand in the next 12 months with a little support from international investments.

The change of pace closes the two-year-long gap between defensive and expansionary business strategies, making expansion equally as appetising as defending the current financial position. The roadmap for growth is fuelled by improving financial status and increasing cash flow.

Cash flow is by far the most important source of funds before bank credit, bond issues, and new share issues. The low interest in new share issues is noteworthy – after all, stock markets are running high and for CFOs Finnish companies are mostly either highly or fairly valued.

CFOs are more confident that their financial prospects are going to be better than assumed six months ago. According to the survey, CFOs are also willing to tolerate and take more risks on their balance sheets.

However, the survey is not all good news. In spite of the boost in optimism, external uncertainty keeps CFOs concerned over the development of demand and the Finnish economy. The macro outlook indicates that growth is hindered by structural problems that reinforce economic weakness and depress growth and the labour market.

Click link to the right/below if you want to read the full report.