CFOs are more optimistic about the future of the U.S. economy than they’ve been at any time this decade, according to a survey out this morning from Deloitte. The CFO quarterly optimism index hit its highest level since starting in 2010, and was up substantially from the fourth quarter. “This, by leaps and bounds, was the most optimistic survey, across many measures, that we have ever seen,” said Sanford Cockrell III, who heads Deloitte’s global CFO program.
And here’s the most interesting finding: CFOs say they plan to spend their tax windfalls mostly on higher investment in the U.S., as well as on R&D and higher wages. They expressed a strong bias toward revenue growth over cost reduction (64% vs. 18%), and an equally strong bias toward investing cash rather than returning it to shareholders (57% to 14%).
Critics of the corporate tax cut predicted the tax windfall would mostly go to fund share buybacks and dividends, citing…