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CFOs: CapEx on tech driving 2016 financial plans

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CFOs: CapEx on tech driving 2016 financial plans

New survey shows data security, systems upgrades and healthcare reform among top concerns for corporate financial decision makers.

A new survey from TD Bank reveals chief financial officers plan to significantly increase their company's capital spending in 2016, as the economic outlook remains positive despite forecasts of an interest rate increase and uncertainty in government policies heading into an election year.

According to the survey, which polled CFOs and other corporate financial decision makers at middle market and large corporations, a majority (61%) of respondents expect to increase capital expenditures next year, reflecting a marked and steady climb since 2010, when the survey found 39% of executives planned to increase spending. Participants cited three keys areas of capital spending for 2016: technology (58%), existing facilities (44%) and data security (41%).

"Businesses are feeling positive about their ability to perform in current and near-term economic conditions."

Despite speculation that the Federal Reserve may soon raise interest rates for the first time in over a decade, the majority of executives reported this would not alter their plans to make business investments in the year ahead. Nearly three-quarters of executives noted the rate increase would have no impact on their borrowing, and 6 % said a rate hike would make them more likely to borrow.

"We've seen a significant shift in sentiment over the five years we've been surveying the market as a number of looming economic headaches have largely subsided," said Greg Braca, Executive Vice President and Head of Corporate & Specialty Banking at TD Bank. "Rising interest rates may create headline noise which impacts the stock market, but executives are prepared for an eventual rate increase and are moving forward with investments in their infrastructure, facilities and people. It's clear that businesses have adjusted to the 'new normal' and are focused on growing within that environment."

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