CFOs Say A Recession Is Inevitably Coming Next year, CNBC Survey Shows

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Corporate finance chiefs think the economy is due for a downturn next year, a new survey of chief financial officers showed Thursday.

Seventy-seven percent of CFO’s responding to a CNBC survey say the economy will experience a recession in the first half of next year. The rest think a recession will occur in the second half of 2023. None think the economy can avoid a recession altogether next year.

This gloominess has arisen because of persistent inflation and the Federal Reserve’s policy of tightening monetary conditions to bring down inflation.

Forty-one percent of CFOs say that inflation is the number one external threat to their business. That is more than twice the share who cited inflation in the June 2021 survey. In the first quarter of 2021, no CFOs said inflation was the bigger risk faction.

Twenty-three percent said the Federal Reserve was the biggest risk, putting it in second place. This did not even show up in the survey a year prior.

A year ago, Covid-19 was still seen as the biggest risk, with 29 percent of CFOs saying it was their main outside concern. Twenty percent said inflation and 15 percent said cybersecurity.

Supply chain disruptions were named by 14 percent as the biggest threat. Cyber-security and the Russia-Ukraine war taken together were nine percent.

The survey was conducted in late May and early June among members of the CNBC Global CFO Council, which CNBC says represents some of the largest public and private companies in the world. According to CNBC, the CFOs in its council collectively manage more than $5 trillion in market value across a wide variety of sectors. Twenty-two CFOs took part in the survey this time around.

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