“The positive investment outlook expressed by the CFOs is welcome, particularly since low productivity is one of the biggest economic issues facing the U.S. economy,” said Patricia Buckley, managing director, economic policy and analysis, Deloitte Services LP.

Almost seven years ago, CFOs were asked how they stay informed, and this quarter CFOs again answered questions about where they find information on macroeconomics, geopolitics, policy, financial markets, industry trends and management trends.

Highlights of CFO responses include:

• CFOs appear to be spending considerably more time staying abreast of global economic and policy developments than they used to, and also seem to be relying substantially on their own research. Notably, less than 25 percent say they have an on-staff economist.

• Major global news outlets are still CFOs’ primary sources of broad-based information, but there appears to be a rising reliance on subject matter specialists for deeper, industry-specific insight— especially consortia, professional services firms, bank analysts, and individual thought leaders.

• The channels by which CFOs consume daily news—including websites, newsletters, TV and printed dailies—appear highly varied, and preferences appear to be significantly different by age. Device use also varies by age, but laptops were still the top device overall. Although social media use was indeed highest among younger CFOs, the age-related differences were not particularly strong.

“CFOs have been citing volatility in the business environment as a growing challenge for several years now, and this quarter’s findings seem to show they are spending considerable effort staying abreast of what’s happening—across a very broad range of areas. Some appear to get significant help from internal and external resources who focus on particular areas, but it also appears they are doing a lot of research on their own,” said Greg Dickinson, managing director, Deloitte LLP, who leads the North American CFO Signals survey.

A copy of Deloitte’s second-quarter 2017 CFO Signals report can be downloaded at: www.deloitte.com/us/cfosignals2017Q2.

Deloitte provides industry-leading audit, consulting, tax and advisory services.

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