Monday 3 August. Today's Top Story
Almost half of UK finance leaders do not expect demand for their own businesses to recover to pre-pandemic levels until after Q2 2021. The Deloitte CFO survey for Q2 2020 has found that 78% of CFOs expect UK corporates’ revenues to decrease in the coming 12 months. This has eased slightly from Q1 when 97 anticipated that revenues will drop over the year ahead but is, nonetheless, the second-highest reading on record. According to the survey, 80% of UK CFOs surveyed now feel there is a high or very high level of uncertainty facing their business, and 82% of finance leaders say they are unwilling to take risk onto their balance sheets. Overall, CFOs rank the effects of COVID-19 as the greatest risk facing their businesses, while geopolitics ranks second, with Brexit taking the third spot, and economic weakness in the US. To read Deloitte's news release go to https://www2.deloitte.com/uk/en/pages/press-releases/articles/deloitte-cfo-survey-q2-2020.html.
UK business output continues its resurgence, but the rate of recovery begins to slow. BDO's latest data indicates that business output across the UK increased for a third consecutive month in July as the services sector. However, the pace of recovery has started to wane. BDO's Output Index rose by 6.70 points to 73.20 in July. This compares to a more significant rise of 11.16 points in June, suggesting the rate of economic recovery is beginning to slow. The Index also remains considerably short of the 95-point level which represents an annual expansion in output. Meanwhile, BDO's Manufacturing Output Index recorded a  rise of 5.81 points in July, a marked downturn in the rate of recovery, which increased at almost twice the pace (10.92 points) in June. To read BDO's news release go to https://www.bdo.co.uk/en-gb/news/2020/business-output-continues-its-resurgence-but-rate-of-recovery-begins-to-slow.  
US bankruptcies are on track to hit a 10-year high as the pandemic rages. S&P Global Market Intelligence has warned that US bankruptcies are on pace to hit their worst levels in 10 years, with experts expecting even more companies to suffer as the Coronavirus pandemic stifles economic activity. A total of 424 US companies have gone bankrupt this year as of 9 August, including the high-profile retailers Ascena Retail Group Inc., J.Crew Group Inc., Lord & Taylor LLC, J. C. Penney Co. Inc. and Neiman Marcus Group Inc. This exceeds the number of filings during any comparable period since 2010. To read S&P Global Market Intelligence's news release go to https://www.spglobal.com/marketintelligence/en/news-insights/blog/broadband-only-homes-near-30-of-us-households-in-q220.  
A quarter of UK Financial Services firms issued profit warnings in the first seven months of 2020. UK-listed Financial Services firms issued 42 profit warnings in the first seven months of 2020, 36 of which cited the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the latest EY analysis of UK profit warnings. This means a quarter (25%) of UK-listed Financial Services companies issued profit warnings between January and the end of July this year -  more than was recorded for the whole of 2019 and a 133% increase compared to the same period last year. To read EY's news release go to https://www.ey.com/en_uk/news/2020/08/covid-19-impact-felt-strongly-as-a-quarter-of-financial-services-sector-issues-profit-warnings.  
 
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