CFOs Across The Globe Forecast Growth for the Year Ahead According to
MARKHAM, ON, June 24, 2014 /CNW/ - Canadian CFOs have an optimistic
outlook when it comes to economic growth, according to the seventh
annual American Express/CFO Research Global Business & Spending Monitor. The Monitor, which surveys senior finance executives from the U.S.,
Europe, Canada, Latin America, Asia and Australia, revealed CFOs have
moved past the economic downturn and are focused on growth and spending
to get ahead. Globally, the majority (72%) have reported plans for
economic expansion over the next year.
In Canada, almost half (48%) of CFOs surveyed reported very good
financial performance over the past year and 76 per cent expect to see
expansion over the next 12 months, a 14 per cent rise from last year
and a 53 per cent increase from 2009. This confidence also appears to
translate into spending as 73 per cent of CFOs in Canada forecast
moderate to aggressive spending and investment in the coming year.
"This year the regional differences across the globe have begun to
converge and the overall outlook for 2014 is strong," says Paul Parisi,
Vice President & General Manager, Global Corporate Payments, American
Express Canada. "The Monitor indicates that Canadian CFOs are ready to
invest, particularly in IT, in order to meet customer needs and improve
efficiency and productivity."
Increased Importance on Information Technology and Process
From a global perspective, the study revealed spending priorities are
varied, with an overall focus on entering new markets (72%), better
meeting customer needs (71%) and pursuing business transformation and
In Canada, however, CFOs are focused on investing in IT systems, and
plan to increase spending notably in this area over the next year. The
majority (50%) revealed that cloud computing would be the most critical
IT spend, followed by technology consultants or outsourcing (43%). This
is despite the fact that 86 per cent of those surveyed rate their
current company's IT as ahead of or on par with other companies similar
to theirs. Also, nearly half of respondents (47%) see the customer
service value of IT and believe improvements to such systems will
contribute the most to growth by improving their ability to meet
"Another trend revealed in this year's study is the focus on process
improvements", said Parisi. "Whether it's production based, marketing
or decision-making, it's a clear priority given 73 per cent of Canadian
CFOs believe good processes have helped their companies' performance."
Though nearly half (40%) of Canadian CFOs are working to improve process
with a focus on sales and marketing improvement, American CFOs are less
invested with only 28 per cent rating their process execution as good
A Global Snapshot
Canadian finance executives aren't alone in demonstrating an increase in
financial confidence. For the first time in years it appears that
European economies are notably ready to leave the global recession
behind, and now see opportunities for growth and expansion. European
confidence this year surged, with 68 per cent of senior finance
executives predicting economic expansion in their respective countries.
This is an increase from last year's 48 per cent, which was the lowest
percentage of respondents predicting expansion since 2009, the highest
point of the recession.
Other countries also saw significant leaps in optimism - the percentage
of respondents predicting economic expansion rose from 39 per cent to
62 per cent in France and Russia, while Spain jumped from 44 per cent
to 69 per cent in 2014.
Companies from emerging1 markets remain focused on spending and investment for growth. This is
despite some drops in economic expansion expectations reported this
year. Respondents from India, Argentina, Brazil and China are among the
most likely to say they plan to substantially increase spending and
investment. In particular, India and China are leading the way,
reporting higher-than-average increases in total spending and
In comparison, respondents from European economies tended to report
lower-than-average increases in spending, despite the robust rise in
economic optimism for the region.
In summary, senior finance executives this year are showing a greater
tolerance for aggressive stances on spending and investment. Marking
the growing sense of worldwide optimism, 17 per cent of respondents
this year say they plan to pursue aggressive spending and investment
plans, compared to just 10 per cent last year. What's more, only five
per cent say they plan to decrease spending, down from 10 per cent last
"Overall it's an exciting time for CFOs across the globe who seem to
have bounced back to where they were before the economic downturn,"
said Parisi. "In Canada, not only are the majority reporting financial
strength, but spending is on the rise, which is great news for our
For the full American Express/CFO Research Global Business and Spending
Monitor, visit http://about.americanexpress.com/news/.
About American Express Global Corporate Payments
American Express Corporate Payment Solutions provide the Corporate Card, Corporate Purchasing Solutions, and other expense management services to midsize companies and large corporations worldwide. In the U.S.,
American Express is a leading issuer of commercial cards, serving more
than 70 percent of the Fortune 500, as well as tens of thousands of
midsize companies. For more information, visit americanexpress.com/corporate.
About American Express in Canada
American Express in Canada operates as Amex Bank of Canada and Amex
Canada Inc. Both are wholly owned subsidiaries of the New York based
American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc., the largest
operating unit of the American Express Company. Amex Bank of Canada is
the issuer of American Express charge and credit cards, with
outstanding products like the American Express® Gold Rewards Card, and
the American Express® AeroplanPlus® Gold Card. Amex Canada Inc.
operates the Corporate Travel and Travellers Cheques divisions in
Canada. American Express opened its first offices
in Toronto and Hamilton in 1853 and now employs 3,700 Canadians
coast-to-coast. For more information, visit AmericanExpress.ca or connect with us at Facebook.com/AmericanExpressCanada.
About CFO Research Services
CFO Research is the sponsored research group of CFO Publishing LLC,
which produces CFO magazine, CFO.com, and CFO Conferences. CFO Publishing, a portfolio
company of Seguin Partners, is the leading business-to-business media
brand focused on the information needs of senior finance executives.
CFO Publishing has long-standing relationships with more than 500,000
1 Emerging markets included in this survey are: Argentina, Brazil,
Mexico, Russia, China and India.
SOURCE: American Express
For further information:
On behalf of American Express Canada