CFO optimism on biz environment for Jul-Sep qtr remains unchanged: Survey

CFO optimism index increased only by 0.6 per cent, on a year-on-year (YoY) basis, to 106.0 during Q3 (July-September) 2019.

Update: 2019-08-21 09:08 GMT

New Delhi: The optimism level among chief financial officers about the country's financial and macro-economic conditions for the July-September quarter of this year remained unchanged on a year-on-year basis owing to weak liquidity and macro-economic conditions, says a survey.

The Dun & Bradstreet Composite CFO Optimism Index remained unchanged, increased only by 0.6 per cent, on a year-on-year (YoY) basis, to 106.0 during Q3 (July-September) 2019.

"Factors which pulled down the optimism levels of the chief financial officers (CFOs) were weak liquidity, need for funds, domestic and global macroeconomic conditions and scenario for mergers and acquisitions," said Manish Sinha, Managing Director –India, Dun & Bradstreet.

According to the survey, optimism for macroeconomic scenario declined by 12.1 per cent YoY. Just 44 per cent of CFOs have indicated domestic macro-economic scenario to be favourable -- lowest in 23 quarters.

Besides, only 37 per cent of CFOs in the services sector have indicated global macroeconomic scenario to be favourable in Q3 (July-September) 2019 – lowest in 12 quarters.

"Positive developments due to improvement in the capacity utilisation rate, policy rate cut, and lower input prices are counterbalanced by the ongoing crisis in NBFCs, stressed banking assets, trade war, slowdown in automobile sector and rural distress," Sinha said.

The survey further noted that 15 per cent of CFOs expect an increase in availability of funds in the market - lowest since April-June quarter of 2012. Moreover, just 35 per cent of CFOs have indicated overall scenario for mergers and acquisitions to be favourable during Q3 2019 – lowest in 22 quarters.

"Looking ahead, we expect that the revival of growth momentum will take time and sentiments will remain subdued," he added.

India's economic growth slowed to 6.8 per cent in 2018-19 - the slowest pace since 2014-15. There are ominous signs showing that slowdown may be deep as consumer confidence is waning, foreign direct investment has plateaued. Moreover, international trade and currency war is further aggravating the problem.

Dun & Bradstreet conducted a pan Indian survey of 400 CFOs, in which they were asked about their confidence in the overall financial and macro-economic conditions for Q3 2019 (July-September 2019) as compared to the same quarter of the previous year.

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