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Home>UPDATE: Finance chiefs are becoming increasingly pessimistic about the future

UPDATE: Finance chiefs are becoming increasingly pessimistic about the future

UPDATE: Finance chiefs are becoming increasingly pessimistic about the future

09/24/2017

By Ciara Linnane, MarketWatch

Some 83% of CFOs say U.S. stocks are overvalued

The finance heads of North America's top companies have become increasingly pessimistic about the outlook for the economy and their own companies in 2017, as they eye the paralysis in Washington D.C. and worry about rising tensions with North Korea.

That's according to Deloitte's third-quarter CFO Signals Survey, a quarterly poll of companies in the U.S., Canada and Mexico with more than $1 billion in revenue.

The survey, which Deloitte has conducted for the past 30 quarters, found net optimism in their own companies tumbled to 29% in the third quarter from 44% in the second quarter. In the manufacturing sector, the decline was steeper, falling to 22% from 52% in the prior quarter, while the energy sector saw a decline to 19% from 48%.

Read:Trump's failure to enact policy is having a 'chilling effect' on earnings (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/how-trump-uncertainty-is-casting-a-shadow-on-earnings-season-2017-08-11)

"It is difficult to say what is behind these declining expectations, but CFOs' list of most worrisome external risks seems to indicate that U.S. political turmoil and geopolitical risks are weighing even more than they did last quarter," said the report.

Greg Dickinson, managing director for Deloitte's CFO program and a lead author of the report, said it was a "big, rough quarter," with the increasing tensions with North Korea creating fear.

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