Optimism among chief financial officers in the City has plunged to the lowest level in 18 months, with more than a third believing the economy will slide into a double-dip recession.
The latest CFO survey, carried out by the accountancy group Deloitte, found that optimism had declined for the third-successive quarter despite a "fairly robust" economic recovery. CFO respondents reportedtheir top priority was to maintain a strong control of company costs.
Margaret Ewing, a Deloitte partner, said: "UK corporates entered 2010 with a cautious view on the sustainability of the recovery and have stuck to this view."
She added: "The financial and capital crisis may seem to be over but the headwinds from the recession are leaving CFOs cautious on the recovery."