Although 78% of chief financial officers think the economy might not recover for another two years, 39% are planning to increase their capital investments in 2011, mostly on new technology.
These were among the findings of a survey of 100 CFOs, controllers, treasurers and other financial executives by TD Bank.
Only 7% plan to slash expenses in 2011. However, 69% are concerned about cash flow, and 41% cited that as their No. 1 priority for the coming year.
Asked what, specifically, will be the difficulties with cash flow, 21% overall said an increase in non-performing accounts receivables. Among mid-size businesses, 55% are concerned about interest rate volatility and 52%, access to credit.
Asked what factors they are following for signs of improvement in the economy, 46% said falling unemployment rates, 21% pointed sustained growth in their own organization’s sales and 9% cited an influx of new customers buying their products and services. Another 8% are looking for improvements in the real estate market, 6% better access to credit and 4% the performance of the stock market.
Over the past year, sales improved for 45% of the executives, with 25% saying sales grew 10% or more. However, for one-third, sales continued to fall.
Many also said they learned better business practices from the recession; 21% said they are now more sensitive to taking on the proper amount of debt, and 21% said they have become more attuned to managing cash reserves. Fourteen percent said they are more aware of avoiding and correcting bad investments.