Home / Newsroom / Dun & Bradstreet Composite CFO Optimism Index increased by 9.3% (q-o-q) in Q3 2021

Dun & Bradstreet Composite CFO Optimism Index increased by 9.3% (q-o-q) in Q3 2021

Mumbai, August 13, 2021: A recent survey of Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) in India, conducted by data and analytics firm Dun & Bradstreet, found that the confidence in financial performance has decreased while it has increased for macro-economic conditions. The pan-India survey compared confidence levels from Q3 2021 (Jul-Sep of the calendar year 2021) with the previous quarter. Based on the responses, the Dun & Bradstreet Composite CFO Optimism Index showed an increase of 9.3%, on a quarter-over-quarter (q-o-q) basis to 111.7 during Q3 2021.

The Dun & Bradstreet Composite CFO Optimism Index analyses the optimism level of CFOs on 12 parameters: operating margin, liquidity position, level of financial risk on company’s balance sheet, risk appetite, need for raising short-term and long-term funds, cost of raising funds, availability of funds, domestic and global macroeconomic scenario, overall scenario for mergers and acquisitions, and level of financial risks for corporate sector as a whole.

The survey also revealed the following insights on the overall business climate in India:

  • The optimism level for financial performance of companies and the macroeconomic scenario increased by 1.3% (q-o-q) and 23.3% (q-o-q) respectively during Q3 2021
  • On a sectoral level, optimism level increased by 0.4% (q-o-q) in the industrial sector and by 29.2% (q-o-q) in the services sector during Q3 2021
  • Four out of eight parameters under the financial performance sub-index improved in Q3 2021 on a q-o-q basis
  • 49% of CFOs expect domestic macro-economic scenario to be favourable during Q3 2021, up from 43% in Q1 2021
  • 44% of CFOs expect overall scenario for mergers and acquisitions to be favourable during Q3 2021, down from 54% in Q2 2021
  • 38% of CFOs in the industrial sector expect their risk appetite in the current scenario to increase in Q3 2021 – a seven quarter high
  • 29% of CFOs expect the level of financial risk for the corporate sector as a whole to be favourable during Q3 2021 – highest since Q4 2012
  • 56% of CFOs have stated cash flow management to be their priority in the next six months

 

Commenting on the findings of the survey, Arun Singh, Global Chief Economist, Dun & Bradstreet, said “The optimism level of Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) has improved for Q3 2021 in tandem with the pick-up in economic activities from their levels since the month of April 2021 when fresh restrictions were imposed to curb the 2nd wave of Covid-19. The easing of containment measures, increase in the pace of vaccination and the support from the external sector has not only uplifted the optimism levels, it has also led to an increase in the risk appetite of the CFOs as they perceive that the level of financial risk for the corporate sector will become favourable in Q3 2021. Dun & Bradstreet’s survey revealed that the percentage share of CFOs who expect level of financial risks for the overall corporate sector to be favourable during Q3 2021 is the highest since Q4 2012. However, while optimism for domestic macroeconomic scenario has improved from the previous quarter, it has not picked up for the global economy. This is likely as the rapid spread of the COVID-19 delta variant at a time when some of the developing countries have relatively less access to vaccines has raised concerns about the global economic rebound. Nonetheless, we expect the optimism level of CFOs to continue to improve as India is trending well on the vaccination drive.”

About the CFO Optimism Index

The Dun & Bradstreet Composite CFO Optimism Index, which has been tracking the changing sentiment of CFOs since 2012, is a leading indicator of the Indian financial market as it helps in predicting the performance of Sensex three months in advance.

For conducting the survey, a sample of companies belonging to basic goods, capital goods, intermediate goods, consumer durables, consumer non-durables and the services sector is selected randomly from Dun & Bradstreet’s commercial credit information file. The sample selected is a microcosmic representation of India’s business community. All the respondents in the survey are asked a set of questions regarding the financial performance of their companies and the overall macroeconomic scenario for the corporate sector in the forthcoming period. The CFOs are asked to state their expectations as to whether the specified parameters pertaining to their respective companies and the overall macroeconomic scenario will register an increase, decrease or show no change in the ensuing quarter as compared to the same quarter in the previous year. Two broad indices, optimism at the company level and optimism at the macroeconomic level, each consisting of 8 and 4 sub-parameters respectively, are then designed.

 

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