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Canadian companies ramp up spending plans

Published by Steve Coleman on May 15, 2012

Canada's reputation as the international nice guy may take a hit this year, according to a global survey off chief financial officers.

The survey of 541 senior finance executive from the US, Europe, Canada, Latin America, Asia and Australia for the fifth annual American Express/CFO Research Global Business & Spending Monitor says Canadians plan to be more aggressive than normal with this year's business targets.

Pollsters discovered that 73 per cent of Canadian senior finance executives say they plan to spend this year to help grow their businesses. The numbers put Canadian businesses just behind India (75 per cent) and Argentina (85 per cent).

"Canadians are renowned for their non-aggressive nature, and until recent years the same was true for Canadian businesses," says Paul Parisi, Vice President & General Manager, Global Corporate Payments, American Express Canada in a news release. "Canadian companies are revealing a new toughness in pursuing business growth more aggressively than many of their global colleagues."

After a year of building reserves, 67 per cent of CFO say they plan to dip into their savings this year to cash in on business opportunities that may present themselves. In 2011, 75 per cent of Canadian executives said they planned to stockpile cash. Forty-four per cent said they were specifically building reserves to cash in on opportunities.

Of the Canadian CFOs surveyed, 19 per cent said they expected to see "substantial" economic expansion in the next 12 months. Only two per cent of American CFOs said the same thing.

While most senior finance people in other countries said they planned to be conservative with their cash this year, 31 per cent in Canada reported they planned to be aggressive with their spending and investment.

About half of all survey respondents from around the world (49%) expect their company to take a modest approach to spending and investment to support growth, followed by 35 per cent who expect their companies to tightly control spending.

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