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Pessimism prevails among CFOs

OVER two thirds of Slovak financial managers expect the Slovak economy to stagnate this year. Their pessimistic sentiment has worsened since last year, according to a survey carried out by accountacny firm Deloitte.

OVER two thirds of Slovak financial managers expect the Slovak economy to stagnate this year. Their pessimistic sentiment has worsened since last year, according to a survey carried out by accountacny firm Deloitte.

“This survey indicates something of a rise in scepticism in Slovakia, as more chief financial officers had previously believed improvements were coming,” said Deloitte Slovensko’s Zuzana Letková, as quoted by the TASR newswire.

The poll was also conducted among CFOs in 12 other countries in southern and eastern Europe in February and March. Around 7 percent of those asked were from Slovakia.

Due to negative expectations, financial managers expect a further increase in unemployment. As many as 84 percent of them expect the number of jobs in Slovakia to shrink. Four in ten financial managers also say that the most recent changes to the Labour Code and the tax-levy system have a direct impact on the loss of jobs, the SITA newswire wrote.

A good signal, however, is the fact that implementation of cost-cutting measures is no longer as high a priority for firms as it was at the start of the year.

“Companies instead concentrate on increasing revenues and deeper penetration of markets where they are already established,” Letková said, as quoted by SITA.

Pessimistic expectations were also influenced by how financial directors perceive investments.
“Financial directors currently no longer prefer bigger investments and instead try to eliminate risks and stabilise the company,” said Jozef Hýbl, a senior manager at the Deloitte audit department, as quoted by SITA.

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