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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.

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“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%).

Global outlook

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.

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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.

Originally published on Advisor.ca

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