Optimism Slowly Returns Among Bulgaria's CFOs
After lowering their expectations on economic growth in the first half of 2013, Bulgarian CFOs are slowly raising their hopes, but remain cautious.
This is one of the main conclusions of the third Deloitte CFO Survey for Bulgaria, which was presented on Wednesday in Sofia.
While the risk of economic stagnation is the main concern of almost 70% of the Bulgarian participants in the survey, their share in the second half of 2013 is still by 16% less than in the first half of the same year.
The majority of CFOs expect a very moderate growth in the range of 0-3%.
Almost half of those surveyed expect that unemployment in Bulgaria will increase somewhat and the numbers are growing. In H2 of 2012 when was done the first CFO survey for Bulgaria, the share of pessimists was 39%, while in H2 of 2013 it is 46%. Twenty-five percent believe that unemployment will decrease somewhat.
At the same time 42% of the respondents are very or somewhat optimistic abut the financial prospects of their companies. Growth in existent and new markets is the top priority of the majority of CFOs, while new investments are the least important.
The number of CFOs who think that new credit is easily or normally available has been steadily increasing and this view is shared by three quarters of the participants in the survey.
The political uncertainty in Bulgaria is an area of concern for the majority of CFOs. Seventeen percent respond that it will affect their company business very negatively, while 76% say it affects it somewhat negatively.
The slow economic recovery is also deemed as a negative factor for investment and the willingness of the financial institutions to grant loans, according to a vast majority of the surveyed CFOs. A total of 83% of them say it will affect them very or somewhat negatively.
The Deloitte CFO Survey has been done for the third time in Bulgaria and is part of the Central European Deloitte CFO Survey. The CE survey encompasses 600 CFOs from companies in 13 countries in the region. It studies the short and medium term expectations of the chief financial officers of the leading companies in their respective sectors.
In the Bulgarian edition 31% were from the financial institutions, followed by the manufacturing and the pharmaceutical sectors – 21 and 14%, respectively.