Almost two-thirds (60%) of Canadian companies plan to increase their investments to develop new products or services, finds a survey by American Express/CFO Research Global Business & Spending Monitor. This number outpaces other countries surveyed — Hong Kong came in second with 47%.
The reason that Canadian companies are spending more? More than half (63%) of Canadian CFOs reported higher revenues than a year ago, and 73% expect to see economic expansion over the next year. Also, 80% predict these increased sales will occur in North America, as opposed to other regions.
“We’re seeing dramatically rising numbers in terms of investment, not only in new products and services, but in spend on sales and marketing activities,” says Paul Parisi, vice president & general manager, Global Corporate Payments, American Express Canada.
Reasons behind this increase in spending include: remaining competitive with other companies (80%), better meeting customer needs (70%) and entering new markets (70%).
Europe: Contrary to Canadian CFOs, economic expansion predictions in Europe have plateaued compared to a year ago. But there are mixed responses at the country level — in Spain, 81% expect economic expansion this year (up from 69% in 2014). And only 29% of French executives believe France will enjoy positive economic growth in 2015—the lowest level by far of any country in the survey. Germany (67%, down from 74%) and Russia (55%, down from 62%) both experienced less dramatic declines.
Asia/Australia: India leads the world in economic confidence at 94%, and is most likely to anticipate a rise in employment over the next year. Meanwhile, China’s confidence has dropped significantly since 2013, from 94% to 78%. Executives from Hong Kong and Japan are below Canada in their anticipation of economic expansion (50% and 52%, respectively).
Latin America: Much like Canada, the number of financial leaders in Latin America predicting economic expansion for their region is at 75%. While Brazil has the most optimistic outlook in the region, it has experienced a significant drop in confidence from two years ago (75%, down from 100% in 2013). Expansion in Mexico has also fallen off, with 73% expecting the economy to grow.