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Coronavirus: CFOs see recession coming

Over two-thirds of Cyprus’ chief financial officers (CFOs) predict a recession due to measures taken to stop the spread of coronavirus, financial consulting service PWC reported on Tuesday.

According to a survey conducted from April 20 to 22 on 45 of the island’s CFOs, 73 per cent said there was a recession coming, while 58 per cent believed there would be a decrease in consumption and consumer confidence.

“Furthermore, over three-quarters (78%) of respondents are very concerned about the effects of Covid-19 on their operations, with only 9% believing that the pandemic is an isolated challenge that does not currently have any significant impact on their business,” PWC said.

Another 69 per cent expected a reduction in their company revenue, due to the pandemic. Most of the CFOs (69 per cent) are looking to reduce their business operating costs, while 42 per cent are planning to change their human resources.

Sixty-two per cent said if the virus measures were lifted today, the company would be able to get back to business as usual within three months.

PWC CEO Evgenios Evgeniou said: “While the main concern for the vast majority is uncertainty about the duration and severity of the pandemic, it is important that most companies declare that they will be able to return to their normal business activities fairly quickly, when the cycle of the pandemic is completed.”

The survey on CFOs has been conducted globally every two weeks since the start of the pandemic and will last through the end of May.

Cyprus’ first participation in the survey was in the latest round.

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