Nearly three-quarters of senior finance executives expect economic growth to occur over the next 12 months, according to a new survey, and only 10 percent believe economic contraction will take place.

The survey by American Express and CFO Research Services found that nearly 42 percent of the nearly 500 global senior finance executives polled plan to invest more to improve administrative processes in their companies such as finance, accounts payable and procurement. Eighty percent of the executives polled have seen or expect to see a sustained increase in demand for their products and services, including 20 percent whose companies are already experiencing a demand increase. Two-thirds of the respondents plan to maintain or increase capital spending, and nearly two-thirds plan to increase headcount in the next 12 months.

Nearly half the respondents plan to increase their investment in new product development and 46 percent expect to increase their sales and marketing efforts.

The brightest outlook for economic recovery comes from Asia, where 87 percent of executives from Hong Kong, 82 percent from Singapore, and 78 percent from India expect growth in the year ahead.  Executives in the large industrialized countries share a more measured perspective; 71 percent of executives in the United Kingdom, 66 percent in Germany, and 64 percent in the United States say they anticipate growth in the next 12 months.

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