The survey revealed a record level of business optimism among the UK’s finance leaders, with profit expectations returning to the previous high seen in the middle of 2014.
The number of CFOs who believe the pandemic will reduce capital spending in the next three years has fallen from 65% last summer to 19% in the first quarter of this year.
On top of the pandemic, 10% of the 100 CFOs polled revealed they have experienced significant or severe disruption to their businesses due to Brexit.
Some 67% of CFOs also believe the majority of their firm’s employees will return to the office by Q3 in 2021.
Ian Stewart, Deloitte’s chief economist, said: “Brexit has been a significant dampener on business activity in the last four years but with the UK’s final departure from the EU, such effects are fading. Combined with a successful vaccine rollout and a greatly improved global backdrop we are seeing a turbo-charged surge in business optimism.
“Having come through the deepest downturn in 300 years UK businesses are firmly focussed on growth. Pent-up business and consumer demand are set to power a strong profits recovery, one already anticipated by the surge in equity markets since February.”
Richard Houston, Deloitte’s senior partner and CEO, said: “Business leaders are looking to combine the benefits of office working – from collaboration to innovation – with the flexibility of remote working.
“Technology transformations like artificial intelligence, virtual reality and the cloud will play a big part in supporting this hybrid working model.”
He added: “Looking more broadly, it’s encouraging to see such a marked increase in sentiment amongst CFOs.
“The focus now needs to centre on expanding capacity and improving supply chains so that pent-up demand can be successfully met. Making the most of the long-term transformations sparked by the pandemic will be key to the future recovery of businesses and the economy.”