2021 Mid-Year Update to CFO-CHRO Sentiment Study

The report highlights a significant uptick in economic confidence compared to January, 2021 and even more so when juxtaposed against the same period in 2020. Survey analysis details the excitement finance and HR leaders from emerging and mid-market enterprises are feeling as the drop in COVID-19 restrictions and increase in vaccinations accelerate business and economic recovery in the United States and Canada:

  • Confidence in national and regional economies has surged. — and CFOs and CHROs are even more confident in their industries, their markets and their own enterprises. 52% of participants said the economy was weak at the beginning of 2021; now 64% say the economy is strong.
  • Growth is back, and so are profits. 43% of participants expect to end the year with EBITDA up more than 10% from last year.
  • The war for talent is raging. 38% say they expect their workforce to have increased by more than 10% by the end of 2021, and another 34% forecast a 3-10% headcount increase. Finding talent has become the #1 challenge for middle-market leaders.
  • Enterprises plan to pull all the growth levers: innovation, new products, new markets, and M&A. More than 20% of CFOs say that identifying an acquisition target is a top priority for them for the balance of the year.
  • COVID and costs are clouds on the horizon. COVID remains a threat, cited as serious by three leaders in 10; and rising costs and prices may also dampen the recovery.

AchieveNEXT Mid-Year Sentiment Study 2021 (members)