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Poll: Chief Financial Officers See Moderate Growth Next Year

Tuesday, 15 May 2012 12:10 PM

The global economy will grow during the next 12 months, albeit moderately, a poll of chief financial officers finds.

Investment should rise and hiring should pick up, according to the fifth annual American Express/CFO Research Global Business & Spending Monitor, a survey of 541 senior finance executives from the U.S., Europe, Canada, Latin America, Asia and Australia.

Companies have been sitting on huge stockpiles of cash amid the downturn, but more and more are feeling like investing and growing.

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"Finance executives are looking for ways to stimulate growth, in part by deploying some of the cash that has built up on corporate balance sheets in recent years," Janey Whiteside, Senior Vice President, Global Corporate Payments, American Express, says in a statement.

"Finance executives also report they'll be keeping a sharp eye on the bottom line, while spending selectively on activities that will drive revenue like sales and marketing and new product development."

According to the report, 64 percent expect to see modest to substantial expansion over the next twelve months, somewhat lower that the 2011 and 2010 reports, with 75 percent and 71 percent, respectively, expressing similar outlooks.

Worldwide, the outlook for economic expansion among the countries covered in the study was brightest in India at 86 percent, followed by the U.S. at 78 percent, Germany at 74 percent, Mexico at 73 percent, Argentina at 70 percent, Australia at 69 percent and Canada at 67 percent.

In the U.S., consumer-sentiment figures recently hit a 4-year high.

The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's preliminary May reading on the overall index on consumer sentiment improved to 77.8 from 76.4 in April, topping forecasts for a small decline to 76.2.

It was the highest level since January 2008, Reuters reports.

Consumer spending drives over 70 percent of the U.S. economy.

"Households are feeling more comfortable. It's pretty good news for consumer spending," says Gus Faucher, senior macroeconomist at PNC Financial Services in Pittsburgh, Reuters adds.

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Tuesday, 15 May 2012 12:10 PM
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