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Finance Executives' Confidence Rebounded in Fourth Quarter, Deloitte Says

Confidence among chief financial officers at major U.K. companies rose in the fourth quarter of last year on optimism over expansion abroad, a survey by Deloitte LLP found.

Sixty-one percent of respondents said that countries outside the U.K. would be the primary engine of revenue growth in 2011, with 34 percent identifying emerging markets as the main driver, London-based Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu said in an e- mailed statement today. CFOs see a 27 percent chance of a double-dip recession, down from 34 percent in the third quarter and 38 percent in the second quarter.

“These results testify to the way in which larger U.K. corporates are strongly connected to the global economy and highly dependent on developments in overseas markets,” Deloitte Chief Economist Ian Stewart said in the statement.

The U.K. economy slowed more than economists initially estimated in the third quarter as gross domestic product rose 0.7 percent from the three months through June, the Office for National Statistics said last month. The Bank of England estimates that real GDP grew 1.2 percent in 2010 and will expand 2.5 percent in 2011.

Bank borrowing and bond issuance recovered to pre-credit crunch 2007 levels in the fourth quarter, according to the survey. Even so, 90 percent of CFOs rated the general level of external financial and economic uncertainty as “above normal.”

Deloitte surveyed 126 CFOs, including 35 from companies in the benchmark FTSE 100 Index, between Dec. 7 and Dec. 17.

To contact the reporter on this story: Marcus Bensasson in Athens at mbensasson@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Craig Stirling at cstirling1@bloomberg.net.

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