UK CFOs double down capex as economy reopens

According to the results of a survey of chief finance officers, large businesses in Britain are surging ahead with post-lockdown investment plans.

In a statement audit firm Deloitte said, its poll found CFOs were planning to increase investment, as well as hiring, at the fastest pace in almost seven years and were their most aggressive about acquisitions in 11 years.

Companies around the globe have ramped up their spending on digital technology in response to the coronavirus-induced pandemic which up-ended their working practices.

According to Ian Stewart, Deloitte’s chief economist, CFOs were not as much concerned about Brexit, as they are of COVID-19. The next in their list of worries is inflation and climate change. More than three quarters of CFOs reported growing recruitment problems.

“The pandemic, like all major shocks, will reshape the economy and we are likely to see years of normal growth compressed into just a few months,” said Stewart.

Out of 10 CFOs, 8 said they thought productivity would grow faster after the pandemic.

“That offers the hope of a more comprehensive recovery than after the global financial crisis,” said Stewart.

Last week, Andrew Bailey, Bank of England’s Governor said, he expects an increase in productivity gains brought about by more investment in technology.

Britain has been plagued by slow economic growth in the late 2000s.

In a statement Deloitte said, “71% of CFOs it polled expected to increase capital expenditure, helped by British finance minister Rishi Sunak’s two-year tax break for corporate investment, and 76% expected more hiring over the year ahead”. In contrast 2020’s top priority had been cost reduction.

Deloitte’s survey was conducted between June 16 and 29 and had polled 107 CFOs from companies, with 69 of them being UK-listed companies with a combined market value of $758 billion (548 billion pounds).

($1 = 0.7227 pounds)

Categories: Creativity, Economy & Finance, Entrepreneurship, HR & Organization, Strategy

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