Most Irish CFOs believe unemployment rate will fall

Deloitte survey finds retention of talent a priority for majority of chief financial officers

The Deloitte CFO survey  found retention of talent has remained a priority for 92 per cent of chief financial officers.  Photo: Bloomberg

The Deloitte CFO survey found retention of talent has remained a priority for 92 per cent of chief financial officers. Photo: Bloomberg

Tue, Feb 4, 2014, 11:07

Nine out of 10 chief financial officers of large Irish companies believe the unemployment rate will continue to fall during 2014, according to a new survey.

The Deloitte CFO survey for the fourth quarter of 2013 found retention of talent has remained a priority for 92 per cent of chief financial officers, despite pressures in cost cutting and downsizing. Furthermore, 92 per cent of CFOs believe the unemployment rate will decrease over the year

According to the survey, CFOs expect a number of further positive developments including an increase in both Foreign Direct Investment and exports.

For the first time since the survey began in Q3 2009, some 18 quarters ago, not a single survey respondent cited a decrease in optimism about the financial prospects of their firm.

“It has been a long time coming but our survey results suggest that Irish CFOs are increasingly buoyant in relation to the financial prospects of their companies with no survey respondents citing a decrease in optimism compared to three months ago – a first in the history of the survey,” Deloitte partner Shane Mohan said.

Despite the rebound in confidence and growth, an obstacle that remains for Irish businesses is tight credit conditions which continue to restrict business growth.

Domestic banks continue to be the preferred method of funding for 44 per cent of respondents in Quarter 4 2013. The number of CFOs who identified overseas banks as the preferred method of funding has increased by 15 per cent, while the preference for equity funding dropped from 17 per cent to 4 per cent.