After two “dismal” quarters, optimism among chief financial officers is on the upswing, according to “Q1 CFO Signals,” a quarterly survey from Deloitte, which includes insurers in its respondents. However, concerns about economic stagnation are causing them to restrain their expectations for sales and domestic hiring this year.

Net optimism, the difference between the percent of CFOs expressing rising and falling optimism, increased to +32 this quarter, up from -11 last quarter. Half of CFOs expressed increasing optimism, while 20 percent expressed rising pessimism. Deloitte characterized this as a major shift, but added that there is a cyclical bias toward optimism earlier in the year, which may be a dominant cause.

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