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CFOs Increasingly Optimistic about Economic Growth, Spending More on Technology and Workforce: TD Bank Survey

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CFOs Increasingly Optimistic about Economic Growth, Spending More on Technology and Workforce: TD Bank Survey

Investments in technology, facilities and hiring part of 2014 plans; concern over competitive environment rising.

A new survey from middle market lender TD Bank reveals a surge in both economic optimism and capital spending plans among middle market and large corporate finance executives.

According to its annual survey of middle market CFOs, nearly 60% of respondents are optimistic about U.S. economic growth this year, compared to 46% last year, and half expect to increase capital expenditures due to stronger revenue growth. Among the CFOs surveyed, the top areas for increased spending include technology (64%), existing facilities (42%) and workforce hiring (40%) in 2014. The percentage of respondents who intend to hire additional workers rose significantly over 2013–nearly a 15% jump.

"The increased appetite for capital investments confirms our view that businesses are finding ways to thrive in the 'new normal' economy."

"The increased appetite for capital investments confirms our view that businesses are finding ways to thrive in the 'new normal' economy," said Greg Braca, Executive Vice President and Head of Corporate & Specialty Banking at TD Bank. "Increased spending at the corporate level bodes well for the long-term acceleration of growth and M&A, with companies recognizing that now is a great time to make a move before interest rates creep higher."

Middle Market Sees More Potential for Growth
Eighty-one percent of respondents expect their companies' revenues to increase in 2014, a 10% increase from 2013, with the majority anticipating relatively small increases in the 1–9 % range. Middle market finance executives reported they're more optimistic than their corporate counterparts with regard to revenue increases:

  • 17% of middle market CFOs anticipated a revenue increase of 10-14%, compared with 10% of corporate CFOs
  • 16% of middle market CFOs anticipated a revenue increase of 15% or more, compared with 14% of corporate CFOs
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