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Survey: U.S. CFOs Will Invest in Growth in 2013
Dec 13, 2012
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Despite challenges facing the economy as of December 2012, most U.S. senior finance executives will invest in their firms to drive growth in 2013, according to an American Express survey of 200 U.S. CFOs and senior finance executives. Most of those surveyed expect their companies to see higher revenues and profits in 2013. In fact, American Express found a notable disparity between most companies' bright view of its own prospects and concerns about slow economic growth in the U.S., the UK and Europe, and other key parts of the world.

The impact if the impact of the "fiscal cliff" looms large, and 52% of those surveyed believe negotiations will not be resolved by the end of 2012. If the expiring tax cuts and across-the-board government spending cuts takes effect in 2013, 79% of those surveyed expect an impact on their company growth plans.

Darryl Brown, President, Global Corporate Payments - Americas, American Express, sees CFOs shifting away from a defensive posture and turning toward making smart investments to enable them to compete and grow. "It's encouraging to see that companies expect revenues and profits to expand and plan to spend in areas like new product development, laying the foundation for stronger growth in the future," Brown said.

Most senior finance executives have a healthy outlook:
* 75% expect their company to show revenue growth in 2013
* 69% expect increased profits in 2013

Longer-term views are also optimistic, with 89% of respondents expecting higher revenues in three years.

To drive growth in 2013, the survey showed companies plan to spend more in three areas:
* New technology: 61%
* New product and service development: 59%
* Expanding into new markets: 52%

36% of respondents expect their companies to hire additional employees in 2013, mostly to facilitate growth, and with an emphasis on customer service, IT, sales, and R&D.

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