Chief financial officers surveyed by Deloitte are seeing an economic slowdown in the United States in 2020, according to CNBC.
The U.S. economy downturn has already begun or will start by the end of 2020, said 97% of corporate leaders questioned by Deloitte in fourth quarter of 2019.
According to the survey results, released on Thursday, 77% of the respondents said stock market averages are overvalued.
Economic conditions, although looking “good” at the time of the survey, could slow in 2020, said the corporate leaders who participated in the study.
The Deloitte's fourth-quarter 2019 CFO Signals survey was conducted on 147 North American CFOs, most from companies that have over $3 billion in annual revenue.
Companies Could Take Defensive Actions
Among the 147 CFOs, 82% said they could take more defensive actions, such as reducing discretionary spending and headcount as a way to protect against the possible downturn.
Not A Recession?
While a downturn seems inevitable, most corporate leaders do not see signs of a recession. Only 3% of the fourth-quarter survey respondents said a recession could happen, down from 15% in the first-quarter 2019 survey.
In fact, 69% of CFOs evaluate the North American economy as "good," up from 68% the last quarter.
“North America is clearly the place where companies are continuing to increase their investment focus,” said Deloitte Global CFO program leader, Sandy Cockrell. “There’s still a high level of caution,” Cockrell warned.