By Alan Murray and David Meyer
January 10, 2019

Good morning.

Last week’s healthy jobless numbers, as well as murmurings of flexibility from the Fed, eased concerns about a recession this year. But truth is, the jobless numbers are a notoriously lagging indicator. And for that matter, the Fed is too. Neither signal tells us much about what lies ahead.

Corporate CFOs, on the other hand, often have their fingers more firmly placed on the economy’s pulse. And the folks at Deloitte keep their fingers on the pulse of CFOs. The latest Deloitte CFO Signals report is out this morning, and CEO Daily got an early glimpse. Some takeaways:

– 55% of the 147 CFOs surveyed expect a U.S. recession by the end of 2020.

– CFOs optimism about their own company’s prospects declined sharply to its lowest level in nearly three years.

– Compared to a year ago, CFOs’ expectations for business spending declined sharply, and those for labor costs rose.

– Only 23% see favorable conditions in Europe, down from 32% a year ago. And just 7% expect better conditions next year.

– Only 24% see favorable conditions in China. And just 12% expect better conditions next year, compared to 27% last quarter.

More news below.

Alan Murray


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