There’s been a survey done by Duke, asking CFOs around the country how they’re feeling about the economy and their businesses coming into 2021. Overwhelmingly, the CFOs are very upbeat about their businesses. Primarily, they are looking at the end of the pandemic, with the full distribution of vaccines throughout the country, but they are upbeat on virtually every factor of their business that there can be. They expect revenues to increase, profits to be up, and they expect things to bounce back, particularly in the second half of the year. Travel and entertainment CFOs are looking for things to pick up by the summer.
Once again, factors contributing to their optimism: the two vaccines have been approved, the $900 billion of relief was approved by the government for households and businesses, and in general just expecting an end to the current pandemic and that business will return. Now, we didn’t say “return to normal” because we have all changed how we do things during the pandemic. Many businesses have shed workers, and many of them have increased productivity because they’ve added automation to their businesses.
The one area that the CFOs are somewhat guarded about is corporate taxation. There’s been a lot of talk from the potential Biden administration about what they plan to do. We will find out what gets through Congress, but for now CFOs think the end is near!