FDs hoping to buck the national trend in 2017

December 21st 2016 | Posted by phil scott

FDs hoping to buck the national trend in 2017

A majority of finance directors and CFOs are expecting growth for their organisations in 2017 – though predictions about the UK’s economy as a whole were less optimistic.

The FD Recruit 2017 Forecast quizzed hundreds of finance directors across a range of industries about confidence in the economy, job security and likely spending habits for the next 12 months.

The findings showed that more than half of respondents had modest expectations for the UK looking ahead 12 months – 20% predict the economy to get worse and 40% expect things to stay the same – yet more than three-quarters of company FDs and CFOs are planning to grow their own organisations over the next year.

Budgets are expected to increase most for property and offices, IT and technology, and marketing. For overall spending, a majority of companies (89 per cent) expect to maintain or increase levels of investment compared to 2016.

Twelve months ago, the FD Recruit forecast showed that only two-thirds of FDs and CFOs were optimistic about 2016 – a record low for the annual survey. One year on, 74% of respondents felt that 2016 matched or fell below expectations in terms of economic growth and their own business performance.

Addressing fortunes for 2017, only 62% expressed overall optimism.

Phil Scott, director of FD Recruit and founder of the annual study, said: “We have found ourselves in a curious position where FDs are looking at the world around them and expressing uncertainty. Brexit, the unexpected result of the US election and the fluctuating economy are not seen as a solid foundation for overall growth.

“However, those same FDs and CFOs are looking at their own organisations and feeling optimistic. They have job security, they are projecting growth and they are set to increase spending across the year.

“Ultimately, 2017 may not be a high point for the economy or political stability, but there are plenty of reasons to believe we can weather the storm as the country’s finance professionals are showing us that they each believe things are going to be ok.”