OPTIMISM among the UK’s company financial chiefs slumped during the first quarter of 2010, says a survey today.

The latest Deloitte CFO survey said the decline came despite improving financial and credit conditions – reflecting the backdrop of economic and political uncertainty.

One in three chief financial officers saw a chance of a “double dip” recession while 93% felt that a hung parliament in the May 6 General Election would have a negative impact.

Some 85% saw reducing public debt as the top economic priority for the next Government.

CFOs remain cautious about the recovery with 82% expecting a sluggish, but sustained recovery.

Chris Powell, Deloitte partner and head of audit in West Yorkshire, said:

“Even among the larger quoted companies, most continue to rate credit as ‘hard to get’ and ‘costly’.

“What emerges from these findings is that financing conditions for larger companies are slowly improving.”